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A town where the wisdom of swing voting shows

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LINEVILLE, IOWA — They had worked for generations to obscure the state border, because a farming town of 300 couldn’t afford to be divided. “One Place, One Community,” proclaimed a sign on the road into town, and Main Street was located half in one state and half in the other. Kids from Iowa sometimes went to public schools in Missouri. Families from Missouri sometimes paid taxes to Iowa.

“Nobody knows who lives where, and nobody really cares,” the mayor said.

At least until earlier this year, when workers for both presidential campaigns arrived here with maps and satellite images to walk the dirt roads and ask residents where, exactly, Iowa ended, and where, exactly, Missouri began. They knocked on doors in Iowa to recruit volunteers but walked past houses in Missouri. They built a combined 74 campaign offices in one state and only six in the other. They bombarded one side of town with so much mail that the brochures filled a storage room and the postmaster extended his hours.

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They need you, they pay attention, you just vote for the same old and you get a kick in the ar$e.

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