We had been idly thinking about volunteering for the local Obama campaign, but hadn't really got anything going. Between work, kids, house, baseball and virtual couching, we hadn't made the effort to find out what to do. Fortunately, we got a kickstart when Moveon.org called me a few weeks ago. They had been calling people all over who indicated an interest in volunteering and scheduling times. I made an appointment and we did a little phone banking at the local office later that week.
Last week, I got a call from our neighborhood coordinator Tony. He was trying to round up people to do some canvassing in our area. Having got our feet wet with the phone banking, we said we'd meet him Saturday morning. We went to one of the neighborhoods in our area and got lists of addresses. Tony said these were people who, when called, had indicated they were undecided or were going to vote for Obama. We were supposed to find out how they were voting (early, vote by mail etc...) and who they were supporting, if undecided.
Here's Tony and a couple of other volunteers at the meetup in the neighborhood
Michelline and I aren't introverts by any means, but knocking on doors for a political campaign is definitely outside of our comfort zone. But if we can help turn out even a few additional votes, that can make a difference. We know McCain is counting on Florida, and turning it will probably give Obama the election.
We set out with our list and our campaign lit and started knocking -
Out of all the houses we hit, only 3 were still undecided. The others had decided for Obama previously or had made up their minds for Obama since they were called. We even took a voter registration app for a likely Obama supporter who hadn't registered. Everyone was very pleasant, we had some nice conversations and there was no tension or combativeness. We had forgotten to bring water (stupid, after 3 hours in the sun, we were dying), but we got offered water by two different households, including one of the undecideds.
We'll definitely be doing more volunteering over the next few weeks. We've signed up to do voter transport and we may do more canvassing and calling. I think it's especially important to keep the pressure on now that McCain is going to throw the sink at Obama this last month.
(Speaking of McCain, we just saw one of his newest negative ads, claiming Obama is untrustworthy and using the 94 tax votes lie again. McCain is such an asshole.)