Fairfax County voters were inundated during the last four days with get-out-the-vote appeals from Republican John F. Herrity and Democrat Audrey Moore in their hard-fought race for county board chairman.
During the weekend and on Monday, armies of volunteers bombarded Fairfax neighborhoods with literature while hundreds of paid and unpaid phone bank workers for the two campaigns called supporters from early in the day to late in the evening reminding them to vote.
Each party claimed that a heavy turnout would favor its candidate.
Republican Party Chairman James Swinson said a heavy turnout countywide would help Herrity because of what he called the county's "Republican base."
But at Moore headquarters, officials pointed out that the county's tremendous growth has increased the number of registered voters substantially, particularly in western parts of the county, which they said they expected to capture.
Moore and Herrity spent the day at polling sites yesterday, shaking hands and hoping to win some last-minute swing votes. The day before, Herrity passed out literature at the Springfield Metro stop and talked to potential voters at shopping centers before making personal phone calls urging people to go to the polls.
Moore focused her efforts Monday at a commuter parking lot in Rolling Valley and at the Pentagon Metro stop, which is in Arlington but is the transfer point for bus lines to and from Fairfax.
The biggest difference this year in the Democratic Party's get-out-the-vote effort was the addition of a professional phone bank operation, said party Chairman Harris N. Miller. In addition, the Moore campaign kept volunteers on 20 phones at its headquarters as part of efforts that Moore officials hoped would counteract Herrity's almost 2-to-1 advantage in campaign spending.
"It's the first time the Democratic Party has had a phone bank like this," said Moore campaign manager Linda (Toddy) Puller. "I have worked on several campaigns, but none where so many volunteers were willing to go out . . . . We can't afford to do mailings, so we are doing the door-to-door drops."
The Herrity campaign got a last-minute contribution from an old friend in the form of a 100-person phone bank that worked during the weekend, said Tom Herrity, campaign manager for his father. This was in addition to a computerized phone bank started in September by a group of local Republicans calling itself Unity '87.
Also, each campaign offered transportation to the polls for supporters.
The Moore campaign targeted 20 to 25 precincts in areas with traditionally high Democratic turnout, said campaign manager Puller. About 200 volunteers dropped 30,000 pieces of literature in those areas on Monday, a simple message reminding people to vote because "our future depends on it" and signed by Moore.
In addition to hand-delivering fliers Herrity workers mailed more than 120,000 pieces of campaign literature last week, said Tom Herrity. Literature drops were made during the past five days, largely by student volunteers, in selected areas in Herndon, Springfield and parts of the Lee District.
The Herrity campaign was hoping for a strong turnout in the Dranesville District to counter what was expected to be heavy voting in Annandale, Moore's home district and a core of her support, Tom Herrity said. But Herrity officials left the get-out-the-vote effort in Dranesville to the candidates in a hotly contested supervisors' race.