Editors note: Campaigns are won and lost by how well candidates recruit supporters and then ensure those supporters vote. This is the last in a series.
After the nearly $1 billion worth of TV ads, three presidential debates and all the speeches, John White will use a bullhorn Tuesday to shout a message to voters:
This is your final call!
Election Day is a day away and the final ground war for Campaign 2012 is making its last push.
White, a retired financial planning company owner, will be a foot soldier for President Barack Obamas re-election army, driving voters to the polls in a donated eight-passenger van and using the bullhorn to encourage voters to climb in.
John Brough, a retired Navy veteran and registered independent, will provide support for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger. He will spend Tuesday on the phones at GOP headquarters in Charlotte and driving those who need a lift to the polls.
Their passions for their candidates and the country similarly drive them to go beyond simply casting a vote.
See their stories on page 6A.
John White and John Brough will be working hard for their respective presidential candidates. Here are their stories.
John White, 80: Your future is at stake. The country is at stake.
On Tuesday, hell rise at 5:30 a.m. and climb into the van with another driver and deliver Democratic Party literature to polls before they open at 6:30 a.m.
Then theyll head for West Boulevard and the high-rises where there are a lot of voters living.
As his partner winds the van around the buildings, White will poke the bullhorn out a window and deliver his prepared message:
Final call! This is your final call! Your future is at stake! The country is at stake! VOTE!
White moved to Charlotte in 1994 after selling his company and retiring here to play golf.
Yet he got involved and now is Precinct 210s Democratic chair.
If I just vote, thats just one vote, White said. A lot of these people go into the polls to vote for president, but they very seldom know little about the rest of the ticket. We try to get the down ticket (races) taken care of.
White doesnt always vote for Democrats. In 1956, he voted for President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, and has voted for Republicans in other elections.
But he thinks this election is critical for the country and thats why hell be out in the van on Tuesday, carrying his bullhorn for Obama.
Its about the country; its not about me, he said. Weve got a guy on the other side who will tell the people of Ohio that the Jeep company is moving to China, knowing all the time thats not true but he says it anyhow. He says the president has reduced requirements for welfare, knowing all the time thats not true. But hell say it anyway.
How can you trust someone like that?
The country, he said, is headed in the right direction under Obama.
I feel President Obama needs to continue what hes started and be allowed to finish the job, White said.
The Republicans made a conscious decision: Were not going to cooperate with this guy. Were going to make sure he fails. Minorities have been the hardest hit by this form of obstruction. Thats why theyre supporting the president.
• John Brough, 66: Making sure everybody can vote
Hell spend Tuesday at GOP headquarters working the phones, targeting voters we believe should be going to polls to pull the lever for Gov. Romney.
If they need a ride, Brough will climb into his 2012 Chevrolet Equinox and take them to their proper precinct.
A lack of transportation shouldnt stop anyone from voting, he said. I spent 20 years in the military making sure everybody has a right to cast a vote. If theyre senior citizens or a shut-in, they should still be able to vote.
Well be ready to make it happen.
Brough was retired from the Navy, living in Oklahoma, when a brother who lives in Locust in Stanly County persuaded him and his wife to move to Charlotte in May.
He couldnt just sit around, and wanted to get involved in local politics. He voted for Obama in 2008, but doesnt believe the president deserves four more years.
Obama promised a lot of changes and he had his four years to do something, Brough said. I havent seen many changes except that were deeper in debt.
Brough likes that Romney has run businesses, been a governor and rescued the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
It just seems like he and (running mate) Paul Ryan know whats going on, he said. He can run a country. I dont think Obama can run a country.
Obama wants to shrink the size of the Navy, Romney wants to increase the size and put new ships out there. To a Navy man, that counts.
Two months ago, he showed up at Republican headquarters and volunteered.
They started him making calls to voters. He met Ryan and House Speaker John Boehner. Now, on Tuesday, hell be a key foot soldier in the ground game.
Four years ago, the Republicans here werent as well-organized. We lost the state, he said. Now were calling people, knocking on doors and taking people to the polls.
I am so supportive of Mitt Romneys candidacy I want to be a part of that. Ill do anything they ask.
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