Update: Exit polls and election results at end of diary.
Videos of volunteers saying a few words the day before election day at the Blue House, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia: Barack's House. My favorite:
Today they're all GOTV.
Who are they?
Gretchen finds tasks for most people who walk in the door:
man, woman, and child, from data entry to button sales, it's such a social occasion that Barack drops in often to get in on the fun.
A volunteer drove 90 minutes each way to Tallahassee to get that cardboard cutout, so the first thing people see when they walk in the door is Barack welcoming them.
Pretty soon they're phone banking. ABC News came to visit and told the world "the reality is that Georgia will most likely go to Senator McCain, and just about everyone there knows that." Oh yeah? They didn't reckon with volunteers like George Rhymes even when they got him on video. The Valdosta Daily Times has since declared Lowndes County "too close to call" during early voting.
"Traffic was backed up both ways on Oak Street and the parking lot was full. We broke up one fight in the parking lot and we had several near accidents and bits of horn blowing and shouted obscenities. A deputy came to the rescue, turned on blue lights and directed traffic for the last couple of hours. He was a godsend."
Result: 10% new registrations. The Blue House didn't cause all of that, but we helped.
Many thanks to original paid staff Lynn and K.C. for getting the Blue House started. Volunteers were on the net with it from the beginning:
The paid staff got reassigned to Philadelphia, and then we kept hearing "Obama pulled out of Georgia." Here's how that meme spread. It wasn't true. All 35 Obama Georgia offices remained open. This one was entirely taken over by volunteers. The house Roy Copeland loaned to the campaign is now known as the Blue House. Everyone coming in the door is greeted with "Welcome to Barack's House!"
No sign to hang out front? Yvette made one and Gretchen hung it up:
No yard signs? Gretchen had them made and even used them to help jump-start another county:
I guess people heard about us; French TF1 came to visit. Here they've caught Laverne and Gretchen heading out to register voters:
Meanwhile, constant phonebanking, registering, and canvassing.
Results? Well, nobody has ever seen early voting this packed:
About 22,000 out of 57,000 registered voters voted early. Many more voting places are open today, but they may all be that packed, and Blue House volunteers are working to make it so. Why yes: lines down the block.
And don't forget Bill Gillespie, running against Jack "flag pin" Kingston since last year, long before the Blue House opening. Bill was there, keynoting the opening, 9 August 2008. All the pundits said Bill couldn't win, because nobody had ever gotten Jack Kingston below 60%, and besides, this year was just like 2004, right? Wrong. Bill outpolled Jack in the primaries; nobody's ever done that, and examination of the county-by-county primary results indicates poor, rural, black, and white people voted for Bill, and veterans are no longer reliably Republican. Gillespie's got Kingston under 50% in Lowndes County early voting. Bill is saturating the cable TV market plus ads in every newspaper in the district. Plus thousands of Gillespie flyers and phone mentions have gone out of the Blue House. Jack's so scared he's doing robocalls. We'll see!
Many more pictures over on flickr. Apologies to anyone I didn't name or picture here; we are large, we contain multitudes!
If you haven't voted, go vote. Vote for Bill Gillespie or Sanford Bishop and Jim Martin, too.
If you have voted, come to the Blue House and help GOTV. Do something fun that can change the world!
After the polls close, come to the Rainwater Conference Center to see the results.
Yes we can!
Liveblog: Yeah, I know, don't embed pictures or videos, but only one diary a day....
Most of what I've got is from Lowndes County, such as:
|28068||by 11AM election day|
|33354||by 3PM election day|
We're now told the Lowndes County electorate size is 50,387, even though Deb Cox, the county election supervisor, said 57,000 in the newspaper a month ago.
What happened to 7,000 voters? Perhaps Miss Handel can tell us.
For those not familiar with GA-01, since Savannah got gerrymandered into GA-12, the part of Lowndes County in GA-01 appears to be more populous than the sliver of Chatham County in GA-01, and Valdosta is the biggest city in the district. More about GA-01 counties and recent votes here.
Valdosta Daily Times exit polls for Lowndes County:
|Time||N||Barack Obama (D)||John McCain (R)||Jim Martin (D)||Saxby Chambliss (R)||Bill Gillespie (D)||Jack Kingston (R)|
This is a pretty odd exit poll. They keep adding precints to their list of precicnts polled, and the numbers go up by 60 each time. It appears they're moving from precinct to precinct and just adding in the new numbers. Given that and the small numbers, I don't know what this exit poll actually means, but it's what we've got. Or not. That link has vanished from the VDT.
Precinct 22 next to Valdosta State University (VSU) is still open at 7:45PM. Apparently lines were so long during the day that students had to leave line to go to class and come back. I hope they all stay in line now. Those students could be enough to make Lowndes County go for Obama.
Meanwhile, in Camden County in the southeast corner of the district (and state), election officials say they didn't expect so much early voting and had to scramble to handle it. About 4,000 people voted early. Big number for a small county.
Speaking of Miss Handel, Ga. Sec. of State reports GA-01 race neck and neck in Lowndes:
However, Kingston is way ahead in the other counties with precincts reporting so far.
In GA-02, Sanford Bishop (D, incumbent) is as usual far ahead in every county with precincts reporting so far.
In the presidential race, McCain is way ahead 64.9% to 34.4% with 10% of precincts reporting, but in one county it's neck and neck: