Please share your stories of offline political activism here. (More)
This week I attended my local Democratic Party meeting, where we learned that our Vote By Mail campaign closed a partisan deficit of over 10,000 enrollees to only 500. The Florida Democratic Party reported similar VBM enrollment statewide, and this year we outpaced the GOP in voter registration by 5-to-1. But those successes will only lead to victory if we couple them with energetic GOTV efforts, and that was my focus during the meeting.
Our GOTV campaign is targeting registered Democrats aged 18-45, as polling shows they are most likely to support President Obama and our local Democratic candidates – if they vote – and our records show turnout is usually strong among older Democrats. I wrote scripts for two call lists, women and men, and our chair printed the scripts and lists in packets of 1000 names. We asked each member to take a packet and commit to calling every name on the list, one page of 40 names each day. We gave out 20 packets at the meeting, with the remaining packets going to our campaign office for our volunteer phone banks.
I also staffed our campaign office on Wednesday afternoon, and was pleased to assist a steady flow of volunteers and local voters seeking bumper stickers and yard signs. I also helped several voters who called with questions about their vote by mail ballots. Most wanted to know our party’s stance on the many constitutional amendments proposed by our state legislature (Vote “NO” on all proposed constitutional amendments) and the Florida Supreme Court and District Court retention elections (Vote “YES” to retain all sitting judges).
Finally, I had also taken a GOTV packet and made my calls each day. Although most did not answer their phones, I left over 150 messages and spoke with over two dozen of our young Democrats, all but two of whom were committed to voting for President Obama and our other Democratic candidates. Among those I spoke to were:
- two young women who said their entire families would be voting for President Obama,
- a young woman who said she was the ‘black sheep’ of her family as she was the only one voting for President Obama (I said she was the “blue sheep”),
- a woman who interrupted to tell me she was an OFA volunteer and whose Methodist minister father “baptized her a Democrat” as a child at LBJ’s ranch,
- a young woman who had already voted by mail, and
- three others who enrolled to vote by mail this year and were eager to receive their ballots.
The emails I’ve received from our other party members report similar results. This will be a very close election in Florida and several other states, and your GOTV work will help bring home victory for President Obama and our Democratic candidates!