Alderaan Can Finally Rest | Main | Could Be Worse

November 2, 2004

Got Vote

Posted by Mike on November 2, 2004 9:06 PM

Rainy Portland day today.

I took the day off from work so I could go help with the local GOTV drive. None of the other volunteers for my neighborhood showed up, so I took a precinct for myself and headed out without a partner. I didn't do my tallies when I got back, but the organizer said there were probably about 100 doors to knock on, and that seems about right. The rain made for pretty slow going.

I covered my area in about 3.5 hours, and didn't find many people at home. The ones I did talk to had already voted earlier in the day, or planned to drop their ballot off as soon as they headed out for work. I handed out or left a lot of drop-off guides.

The first picture has the area I walked highlighted in a red square. The second picture is the view from under my umbrella while I was out canvassing. The whole urban chicken thing's big in our neighborhood.

And that's about all I've got to say. This entry has been sitting in the draft hopper for three hours now, so I might as well toss it up. I was feeling much more wordy while I was out hopping over puddles and discovering houses that were marked as Democratic but happened to have stealth Republicans lurking within. I think I was indulging in some motivational self-talk, and the occasional person who wanted to know why I was out and why I'd take the day off to remind people vote gave me good reason to keep the talk fire stoked. I also entertained myself by doodling a story about 19th century electioneers coping with rambunctious neighborhood toughs. Sample dialogue:

"Gar! Why should I vote for Mr. Kerry?" asked the young ruffian, "By all accounts he is a coward and a liar! What do you have to say about that?"

My countenance must have changed, for the young tough stepped back.

"My man Mr. Kerry is an honorable man, sir, and a hero of the people! Anyone who says otherwise is asking for a licking from me he won't soon forget!"

At that, the young man doffed his cap and said "If all of Mr. Kerry's fellows are as stout as you, then I say 'huzzah! for Mr. Kerry!'"

"Then you shall avoid a sound thrashing this day, good sir!" I exclaimed, and began to walk again. The young ruffian and his gang fell in behind me, shouting "Huzzah! for Mr. Kerry! Huzzah!"

I think I was about two hours into my walk when that idea came and went.

But by the time I walked back to the drop-off place for my tally sheets, I wasn't feeling too talkative, and that hasn't changed much. Probably because I'm glutted on other peoples' commentary, my vote's been long cast, and I've done about all I can do this year.

One thing that kept going through my head was that as much as I liked going out and reminding voters, I'd probably rather do something else next time. I wonder what.


I spent 13 hours poll watching. That means I spent 13 hours sitting on a plastic chair inside a middle school school gymnasium with no windows. There was big "excitement" when the counting machine started spitting out ballots because someone hadn't noticed that they were passing out ballots from a different precinct and even bigger excitement when a disabled man showed up and needed to have his ballot read to him. I think next time I'll do something else, too.

Posted by: Cristina at November 3, 2004 10:18 AM