When Maria Gianni is knocking on voters' doors, she's not bashful about telling people she is in the country illegally. She knows it's a risk to advertise to strangers that she's here illegally—but one worth taking in what she sees as a crucial election.
The 42-year-old is one of dozens of volunteers—many of them illegal immigrants—canvassing neighborhoods in the Seattle area trying to get naturalized citizens to cast a ballot for candidates like Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, who is in a neck-to-neck race with Republican Dino Rossi.
Pramila Jayapal, head of OneAmerica Votes, says the campaign is about empowering immigrants who may not feel like they can contribute to a campaign because they can't vote.
"Immigrants really do matter," Jayapal said. "If we can't vote ourselves, we're gonna knock on doors, or get family members to vote."