A casual encounter sparked a controversy over the methods of the Democratic National Committee. Several women say they saw volunteers offering to pay people to register to vote.
They are on street corners and outside Metro stations -- usually in blue DNC t-shirts. Armies of volunteers are doing all they can to get Barack Obama (web|news|bio) elected, but are some going too far?
...Abeles and several friends heard a supervisor instructing volunteers. She says she heard them go through a drill before hitting the streets. It dealt not with raising money but shelling out cash to get people registered to vote.
"She said I'm not really interested in maybe some other time and he said would $10 make a difference?" said Abeles.
Abeles accuses the volunteers of breaking the law...
According to the law, just simply paying someone to register wouldn't put you behind bars, said Linda Lindberg, Arlington County Voter Registrar.
"If you tried to influence their vote in any way like if you said register and vote for this particular candidate, now that is illegal," said Lindburg.
Eli Rosenthal has volunteered for the DNC and has no problem with offering people money to register to vote.
"In Australia there's a $75 fine if you don't vote so democracy is what you make of it. So that puts it in perspective," he said.