CINCINNATI - The last weekend in September is a busy one for both presidential campaigns in the Tri-State, with supporters of both President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney busy making thousands of phone calls and door-to-door visits to get out the vote.
We got a better idea of how both campaigns are using the latest technology to reach out to voters in the Tri-State as Election Day nears.
At the Romney-Ryan Victory campaign offices in Kenwood, there are dozens of volunteers manning computerized telephones making calls to voters.
What makes these telephones different, is they are computer connected. They display the name of the voter and their telephone number. With the press of a button, the number is dialed and a suggested script is read to the voter. As they answer, the volunteer can press various buttons to indicate what response they are getting to their questions.
"My name is Dawn. I'm calling on behalf of the Republican Party of Ohio. I'm calling to see if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can count on your vote this November," said one volunteer as she spoke with a potential voter.
Even veteran volunteers are amazed by how much technology has taken over the process of asking for a vote.
"It's fascinating. I can just push a button and go to the next call. It's all just friendly and there are no bubble sheets. It's just computerized technology at its best," said volunteer Keith Walker, who is also a math teacher.
Walker says most often he never reaches the voter he is calling. But he's not frustrated about that.
"I most often get answering machines. but the best part is reaching a live person and hearing what their opinions are. What their beliefs are," said Walker.
Meanwhile, over at the Obama Cheviot campaign headquarters, dozens of volunteers are making calls to prospective voters, on disposable cell phones or their own cell phones.
Against a wall of the former Luckey's Bar is a line of phones for volunteers to use along with their chargers.
Here, these volunteers are working off traditional voter lists as they make the campaign's initial contact with Westside residents.
Volunteers and campaign managers are finding more and more people who don't have or don't answer their home phones.
"We have some of that, where the home number isn't valid anymore. Then we don't have a way to reach them, so I do think a lot of people are not using a land line any more. But we are having a pretty good contact rate," said Obama's Cheviot campaign office manager Ann Allen.
Allen says those voters who can't be reached by phone are likely to get a knock on their front door from volunteers who are canvassing neighborhoods on foot.
Obama campaign officials on the Westside say they'll make several attempts to reach a voter personally. But they say all that will stop once a voter says they have voted early, which will start in Ohio on Tuesday, October 2.
"We look at that as if it were a gift to us, if they vote early. That's because we can then use our resources to talk to other people, so the early vote is fantastic," said Allen.
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