When Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley appeared at the University of Maryland, College Park last week, his student supporters were out in front of the hall handing out voter registration forms to the student-dominated audience.
At Frostburg State College, Chris Sekelsky, a student there and supporter of Republican contender Sen. John McCain of Arizona, has been downloading registration forms from the Internet and giving them out on campus.
Today is the deadline for registering to vote in the March 7 primary, when Maryland residents will make their choices for the presidential nominations.
Though the primary comes before many people in the state are paying attention to presidential politics, the organized efforts are having an effect.
"Our office has been much busier than usual this week," said Kurt Hornig of the state election board. "Typically things pick up closer to an election because there are a lot of organizations out there doing drives."
Hornig said those hoping to register before the deadline at 9 p.m. today can pick up forms at post offices, libraries, local election boards and offices of the Department of Social Services and the Motor Vehicle Administration. Information: 1-800-222-8683.
At Frostburg, Sekelsky said his main obstacle is apathy. "I try to convince them that if they want politicians to pay attention to young people's issues, they have to register and vote," he said.