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Indian Americans pitch in for Barack Obama

Oct 28, 2008 10:22 AM IST India India
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Ashburn (Virginia): Barack Obama still leads in the polls, but his supporters are taking no chances. Young Indian Americans who say they are inspired by Obama's message of change have spread out in communities around the US to get the votes.

An Indian-American volunteer Neha Misra walks house to house knocking on doors urging residents of a local Virginia community to vote for Obama.

Misra is one of the hundreds of Indian-American Obama volunteers around the country charged with finding and helping deliver every available democratic vote.

"We want to make sure people see South Asians faces out there knocking on doors and understand that South Asian community is important and can actually swing the vote," Misra, member of South-Asians for Obama (SAFO), says.

Misra follows a routine, if no one's home, she slips in a campaign flyer on the door knob and if she runs into an Obama supporter she makes sure she locks in the vote.

"So are you planning on voting in the voting place do you need an absentee ballot?" she asks a supporter who replies, "Yes, we are going to the Leesburg office."

A few miles away, other Obama foot soldiers Dave Kumar and Naureen are also looking for votes.

Their mission is to identify Obama supporters and make sure they go out and cast their ballot and convince independent voters to join the Obama camp.

"In a close election every vote counts. In 2000 the Presidential election in Florida essentially came down to 537 votes so even though the numbers may be small every vote counts," Dave Kumar, another Obama supporter, says.

"Especially with recent immigrants sometimes there's a feeling there isn't much of a place and it's really exciting to help people become more involved and that every single vote matters," another volunteer Naureen says.

Virginia has voted Republican since 1964. For the first time since, the state is leaning Democratic with Obama leading McCain in the polls.

And South Asian volunteers are eager to make history in and paint the traditional red state blue.

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