My first diary described my efforts in organizing my precinct for GOTV. I've recruited Block Captains to get phone numbers for voters in their block and then call those voters to remind them when early voting starts and urge them to vote. I was encouraged to give updates on the process (and to link to the original diary which I haven't figured out how to do, help.)
I had asked my Block Captains to call me when they had completed their surveys so I could pick up their notes and enter the information my database and print out calling lists for them. My experience with giving house parties for Obama and Sherrod Brown is that too many fail to show despite their promises. I therefore expected to spend time on the phone pushing and prodding.
My first surprise was that four of my Block Captains actually called to have me pick up their lists with no prodding. My second surprise was that when I called six were ready to have me pick up their lists, two volunteered to do an extra block, three were still working, and in five cases I had to leave a message on the answering machine. Not only that but the reasons those still working hadn't completed were solid. One had just returned from vacation, another had had surgery on his hand, and the third was having trouble getting an answer at one of his houses.
If anyone wants to duplicate what I'm doing (and I really wish people would,) use a list of faithful Democratic voters to recruit your Block Captains as I did. It was my hope that the fact that they voted in every election would mean that they would take their job seriously and that seems to be borne out here. More than half of my volunteers are done with no pushing from me. Only a quarter couldn't be reached directly in one phone call in one evening. We'll see what happens when I connect with them, but I am more than pleasantly surprised about how well things are going.
More after the elegant apostrophe.
One amusing note from the reports of my Block Captains. One lady reported that she had a terrible time getting phone numbers. It seemed that everyone had given up their land lines for cell phones, but no one wanted to give her their cell phone number. We all have heard about the problems cell phones have created for polling, let's hope it doesn't cause problems for getting out the vote.
I still think the my model of 'Neighbor calling Neighbor' will make a real difference in turnout in my precinct. No one else has reported a similar problem so maybe it depends on who is asking and how they ask. I wouldn't have thought that Captain would have a particular problem but you can never tell.
It is particularly important that I am having my Block Captains call their neighbors every week when early voting starts since the Secretary of State has set hours for early voting that vary week by week. I will be taking the phone lists back to my Block Captains along with a calendar that shows what days the Board of Elections is open and what hours it will be open on those days. Of course the only chance for early voting on the weekend here in Ohio would be the last weekend. The Obama Campaign has just won an injunction forcing the state to permit voting on that weekend as they have previously. Now the question is whether the Sixth Circuit will overrule the injunction.
The Republicans are pinning their hopes on lies and voter suppression. We need to work to combat both of those.