Wow. When I started this blog series, 99 days seemed close for the election; now, barring the kind of recounts that Minnesota is becoming famous for, we are within hours of the whole thing being decided!
Today in the No Vote campaign, we will focus heavily on door-to-door canvassing. This is our last shot at getting hundreds of people out to have thousands of conversations that inspire the uncommitted to take the time to vote "no" on the constitutional amendment that would limit the ability to marry.
Last week Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) stopped through the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) training and gave an inspirational pep talk. He reminded us that in Minnesota elections are won or lost not by 1 percent of the vote but by much slimmer margins. Indeed, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won by a tiny fraction of a percentage of the vote. (Sen. Franken, you'll recall, ended up winning by just 312 votes in a state with over 5 million residents.) "So," Keith told the GOTV phone callers, "your calls could be the ones that put us over the top!"
That's what Teen Intern has said to me every day since June, and why any days off have been torture. "My being sick today could cost us the election!" I hear her moan through a swollen throat, or while thrashing with fever. Such commitment is awesome, and it is made more awesome by the fact that is not hyperbolic.
As someone who's been living and breathing the fight against this amendment for six months, in a state that's been dealing with it for 18 months, it's incredible to see how many people haven't yet paid it any attention at all. The most common question we get when we urge people to vote "no" is, "What's a 'no' vote, again?" I always respond, "Vote 'no' to amending our constitution! November!"
When I called one guy out in the western farmlands of Minnesota and asked him what his neighbors thought about the amendment, he said, "We're mostly just focusing on trying to survive here." That's pretty true for all kinds of people all over the state, but despite that fact, there have been tens of thousands of people across the state having hundreds of thousands of powerful conversations about this issue and what votes like this mean for our country. These are values-based conversations, hard conversations between people who disagree, carried out respectfully, from what I am hearing.
As far as I can see, grassroots activism on the other side is teeny. People in churches are probably doing what they're told to do, but I have heard that the Vote Yes campaign is paying folks to make GOTV calls, for instance. Rumors abound, so who knows if that's true, but I'll say that all I've seen is the same tired people, arguments and press conferences that 30 states have already suffered through. (That said, there are some new fear-based ads coming out here at the last minute.)
Meanwhile, it's time to get a move on here! Another long day at the greeters' table awaits me, with all my trusty sidekicks, as we get out the vote!