TAMPA - When it comes to what will determine this year's presidential election, all of the expensive campaign ads and debate wins or losses appear to be taking a backseat to the work of volunteers.
"This race is expected to be very close," Romney campaign volunteer Victoria Larder told a voter over the phone Monday. "Have you already voted?"
Larder's grown accustomed to the sound of a telephone ringing, and she says voters have gotten used to her voice as well.
"Toward the end of the campaign, people are getting tired of hearing from us, but we've got to do what we've got to do to get them out," she said. "We need to take our country back. We need to have our freedom restored to us. I love my country."
Larder's work is important enough that Congressman Connie Mack stopped by the Romney office in South Tampa, to say 'thanks' to a room filled with volunteers.
"That's why we're going to win this election, because of you," Rep. Mack said. "It's everything. It's the difference between winning and losing an election."
Governor Charlie Crist also made a 'thank you' tour of Obama offices in Tampa on Monday. He also stopped by the County Center building downtown in order to raise awareness that voters can still drop off their absentee ballots.
"To cast this precious vote. It makes a huge difference," Crist said. "People need to vote like their future depends on it."
Obama campaign volunteer, Alyce Knowles, agrees. That's why she spent the day calling voters who requested absentee ballots, crossing them off her list if they'd already voted.
"Let them know how important this is," Knowles said. "This is a very important election."
If voters told her they'd need a ride to the polls, a nearby map dotted with yellow stickers listed available drivers.
"Unfortunately, I don't think enough attention is paid to how hard Americans go out and work these elections," Rep. Mack said.
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Firefighters have gained control of a house fire that burned in the Citrus Park area of Tampa.