Site Meter

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Day in the Life of Getting the Vote Out.

Thursday night on my way home from work I received a call from a volunteer with the Obama campaign who asked if I would I be available to volunteer this weekend. Um, sure? I had received emails for months asking me to volunteer but the times and days available always clashed with my schedule. But Sunday, Rob was scheduled to be home and not on call for the store so I agreed to go to Indiana on Sunday.
Another volunteer called on Saturday to confirm my commitment. That's when I found out we would be driving to Indianapolis-over 3 hours away! But , sure! Why not. It'll be like being in college again. Road Trip!
So I spent the rest of the day Saturday looking forward to Sunday- but also having minor anxiety attacks- 3 hours in a car with strangers there and back. What if they are all 19 years old? I mean, isn't it all college kids who do this stuff like driving 7 hours round trip in one day for political causes?
Sunday comes and I was up at 5 am and out the door at 6am. Luckily due to time change I got an extra hour of sleep.
I met with my group at 7am, was assigned a car to be in and was off by 7:30. The three other volunteers I rode with, Don, Amanda and Amy were all pleasant and fun so the trip went quickly. Amanda, Amy and myself were on our first trip to canvass. Don, however was a seasoned vet having been a volunteer on the campaign since January and told us what to expect from the day.
We arrived in Indianapolis around noon and after meeting up at the main headquarters:
we were sent to a secondary location, another volunteers house, to receive our assignments. The ladies at the house were so peppy and excited to see us. They gave us maps, lists of names, buttons, stickers and early voting literature and sent us out to canvass apartment complexes.
Basically we were to knock on doors, ask if the person on our list was home, ask that person who they were voting for, if they had already voted, if not if they planned on voting early or on Tuesday and if they needed a ride to their polling place.
All went smoothly and quickly even though we had about 75% "Not Homes" and we were in somewhat hostile territory:
And signs of the failing economy were evident:


But we were able to cover 160 homes with a return rate of about 25% and many votes for Obama. I only had 2 McCain supporters and Don had to spend 5 minutes convincing one disgruntled Clinton supporter that it was ok to vote for Obama and that Clinton herself endorses him.

We headed back to Chicago and got back into town around 8:30pm. All of my companions were discussing the ticket system for Obama's rally on Tuesday as they were all awaiting their tickets and wondering when they would arrive. I was on the wait list with no hope for tickets which I had come to terms with because let's face it, all of downtown is going to be a party that night and when I get out of work at 6pm I will be right in the thick of it, but listening to 3 excited ticket holders kinda bummed me out again.

So, at home I decompressed with Rob and before bed I checked my email. And there was a note from a friend- she had received her tickets to the election night rally and would I be her guest! Well heck yeah I will! Wheee!
Funny how things work out.

No comments: