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So I got the OK at work to take 9-10 days off for volunteering on the Obama campaign, and I'm trying to decide what the best way to use it would be. I live near Boston.

Option #1 would be all in a single block, the two weeks before the election.

Option #2 would be to only take Fridays and Mondays off, but start earlier in October through the weekend before Election Day, and then also take Election Day off.

Pros and cons under the cut.

One consideration is which is most effective, all things being equal. My intuition suggests starting earlier is better, like how donating earlier is better. I hope commenters have knowledge about that. (Actually, if earlier is better, maybe it'd be best to take most of the time off as soon as possible and then Monday/Election Day?)

Other considerations:

Geography: Should I be canvassing my neighborhood for donations and volunteers, or canvassing NH for votes? Or another state? I could probably crash with friends or family (in order of social ease) in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, or New Mexico. I lived in Ohio and was born in AZ, so I wouldn't feel totally out-of-town in OH or NM.

NH was always the top "return on investment" state on, but now OH is at the same level, and NM and CO are even hotter. Though that means flying, which will cost a day of travel time and several hundred bucks (which will probably translate into less personal donations).

Of course a lot of this depends on the specific crashing/housing situations in each of these places, because I'm not going to be any good (let alone enjoy it) if I'm stressed out, or stressing my hosts out.

But the timing and geography questions others I hope have insight into...

Originally posted to Zach Alexander on Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 10:00 AM PDT.


What's the most effective use of a Bostonian's 9-10 days off?

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| 17 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tough choice. I would say GOTV in Ohio. eom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Pennsylvania or Ohio (0+ / 0-)

    I have no idea what the voter registration requirements are in Pennsylvania or Ohio.  

    I live in a university town in outstate Missouri.  Registration closes October 8th.

    There are large numbers of people in my community who are for Obama who are not registered or have moved and don't know they need to register.

    If that is the case in either Ohio or Pennsylvania, I think the best thing to do is go to someplace with a well-organized voter registration drive and register Obama voters.

    There is some advantage in contacting people two weeks before the election, but I'm confident the registration work I'm doing now is yielding more Obama voters than anything I will be doing after October 8th.

    Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren. Bertolt Brecht

    by MoDem on Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 10:07:12 AM PDT

  •  you can rec these diaries (0+ / 0-)

    Toolkit to Stop the Obama Smear Push Poll going on in OH, PA, MI

    GOP Block the Vote campaign goes into action in Wisconsin.

    they're falling off the reclist

    by robertacker13 on Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 10:17:39 AM PDT

  •  Zach, (0+ / 0-)

    you should contact the MA state Obama office and ask them. I think MA is focusing on NH, but there might be a limit to how many people they want to send there from out of state.

    I imagine they will tell you to go and spend a longer, concentrated time in one place, but who knows?

    That said, if you have a good connection in any of the battleground states (and a stress-free place to stay), you might just want to base your decision on that.

    Thank you for giving your time to this critical election! If you have time, post here about your experiences.

    I trust Barack Obama.

    by casperr on Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 10:21:38 AM PDT

  •  Geography matters go to NH (0+ / 0-)

    Few people will be willing to travel as far as you.  This means that only people in the North-East will be able to make it to NH.

    I live in CT, and we got word specifically from the Obama campaign that NH was the place to go.  I'd think you are in the same boat.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 10:28:51 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, Zach - Call the office in MA (0+ / 0-)

    casperr's advice is good.  The Obama campaign is extremely well-organized, and they can tell you how they can use your skills and enthusiasm most effectively.

    Thank you so much for your passion and dedication.  Good luck with whatever you decide to do.  

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