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      Advocacy groups find new ways to reach early voters

      Election day for dozens of students at South Texas College in McAllen came early, as one of two mobile voting units kicked off their early voting tour on Monday. For the next 12 days, the two units will stop at different locations across Hidalgo County in an effort to increase voter turnout. "What we tried to do is partner with organizations such as the banks and the hospitals that make it easy for people that visit these entities to just vote there," Elisa Alvarado said. She is the president of the Advocacy Alliance Center of Texas, a non partisan group, whose goal is to get 65 percent of registered voters to the polls on November 6. "So if you go to a mobile unit in Hidalgo County you will be able to vote there just like any early voting location," she added. "You don't have to be from that precinct." The mobile voting units are just one of several new efforts to make voting easy and convenient in the Valley. Even at pharmacies, voter turnout has become a priority. Over 40 local pharmacies will hand out prescription bags with election dates printed out on them to their customers. Med Aid Pharmacy in Mission will even host one of the mobile voting units this week. "I see at least 300 patients a day and we feel that this is just the perfect environment, come pick up your prescription take care of your health care needs and vote," Dr. John Calvillo said. For voter advocates like him, the goal is to make voting as easy as possible. Volunteers will even be at the Friday night football games, handing out the reminders to vote. For more information on early voting efforts from AACT NOW, call them at (956) 664-2228. You can also find more information about the mobile voting units, and the locations for early votings by visiting the Hidalgo County Elections website. {<}http://co.hidalgo.tx.us/index.aspx?NID=1354{>}