Rachel Port is an OffTheBus grassroots correspondent. Each week she contributes a campaign journal documenting her life out on the trail.
"Hi. We Voted."
This is how one man I called this morning answered the phone.
Obviously, this was someone with caller ID who knew the drill. This was my fourth week phone-banking in the northwest campaign office of the Democratic party here in Tucson, AZ, and though we have targeted different demographic groups and used several scripts, the focus has been encouraging registered Democrats and Independents to vote by mail. We are not the only people calling; I got a robo-call from Janet Napolitano last week reading the same script I had used two days earlier.
I didn't think he sounded annoyed, only efficient.
This week is fall break for some local schools. I mention this because today I sat with two seniors from Mountain View High School in Marana. They were volunteering as part of an assignment for their Government class. A third student arrived later; he had first gone to the wrong office. What a wonderful assignment! They were not old enough to vote, but this way they get to be part of this historic election. When I arrived, three other students were filming an interview with Ashley, one of our two coordinators.
I remember sitting around a friend's kitchen table on Election Day in 1960, making signs to take to a nearby polling place. As I recall, we only were outside the polling place for a short time, but at the age of twelve, we felt like part of the Kennedy excitement.
Today's results: made 140 calls, spoke to 18 human beings, nine of whom had already voted. Not bad. One woman had received her ballot, but was planning to take her mother and a friend to vote on Election Day. I told her our district is expecting a 90% turnout rate this year (!!!), so she may want to fill in her ballot and turn it in at the polls so she won't have to stand in line, which she thought was a good idea. She liked the expected turnout, too.
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