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Published: Tuesday, 10/6/2009

Pastors plan to call for a turnout Nov. 3

A group of Toledo pastors said Monday that turnout in the Sept. 15 primary election was too low, and that their flocks would hear from them soon about making a better showing on Nov. 3.

The Rev. Cedric Brock, president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and pastor of Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, 831 North Detroit Ave., said the pastors want a turnout closer to the 2008 presidential election in the mayoral and Toledo City Council election next month.

Voters also will decide ballot issues that include legalization of casino gambling and a replacement levy for senior services.

"Eighty percent did not vote," Mr. Brock said of the recent primary. "Twenty percent came out. I think we can do better than that. Being that our city is at a turning point, we need to understand the importance of our vote because our vote is our voice."

He said the ministers would push the get-out-and-vote drive in their churches and their bulletins and provide transportation with vans. The nonprofit group takes stances on ballot issues but does not endorse candidates.

In addition to the IMA members, some local politicians attended the news conference and echoed the call for a strong turnout. City Councilman Michael Ashford urged listeners to contact the Lucas County Board of Elections and request an absentee voter ballot.

Participation in the Sept. 15 primary ranged from as low as 7 percent in Ward 2 in North Toledo to 29 percent in Ward 7 in the Heatherdowns area. The turnout in the 2008 presidential election was 70 percent.

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