Saturday, September 20, 2008

Get Out the Vote

I’ve been trained. I now know how to register voters and I have my very own clipboard to do it.

My husband and I stopped by the Obama office in Falls Church on Friday and got “the training.” The place was a beehive of activity, but I was impressed that the office chief, a 20-something named Ari, came over and welcomed us and answered our questions about how we might best help out.

The training for voter registration took about 10 minutes. We learned how to screen for convicted felons and mentally incapacitated people. It’s really not so hard. My biggest concern was there were no materials in Spanish and my guess is many unregistered voters are Hispanic.

We will go out tomorrow to do door-to-door canvassing. But first we must be trained for that, too. So we will be meeting at someone’s home first to learn what to say and what not to say. If we knock on 40 doors, we are eligible to get an Obama sign for our yard. Woohoo!

Monday morning my friend Marjorie and I plan to hang out at a Metro stop in Virginia trying to sign up unregistered voters. Before then I plan to translate at least some of the materials into Spanish so I don’t make a complete fool of myself with Hispanics who are interested.

I know that one person makes very little difference in this election. But I’m hopeful that there are many out there just like me who are so fed up with the current administration and the possibility of another 4/8 years of the same that they will get out there and work to get Obama elected.


Blogger Kate said...


I got this training too but with no promise of a sign for my yard! :(

It is so worthwhile.....If you could email me the Spanish translation I would be delighted! Heavily Hispanic here as you can imagine.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kate -- I will send you whatever I come up with, but don't hold your breath!

I just looked at the polls and I am starting to feel a little more comfortable. I would much prefer to see a 10-point spread...

5:32 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

What a great way to spend part of your weekend. One person might not make a huge difference, but as one of many, you can. And will. This is great.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I walked precincts with Leo Ryan, registering voters when I was in high school. Too young to vote, but old enough to register voters. ::smile:::

8:33 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I will feel like it's worth my time and effort if I sign up even one new voter!

Kelly -- Does school leave you any time for politics, or are you required not to participate because you work for a public school (assuming you do)?

10:00 PM  
Blogger lettuce said...

it must feel good to at least be doing something practical - lots of "just one person"s like you can surely make a difference?

7:21 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Lettuce -- I have to hope you are right!

7:25 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Bravo! I wish I could do the same -- but alas, my employer prohibits political activity. :(

9:55 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

B R A V O !!

10:06 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- It's a new thing for me too, having been a Federal employee for so many years. It feels good to advertise my political feelings!

Reya -- I'm anxious to know if I can sign up even one voter (hopefully for Obama)! But it will make me feel good to try.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

We are not allowed to show any political preference while at work. This can be difficult for new teachers. Also, as public school teachers (I have always worked for public schools), we work for an entity that has elections for it's "bosses".

Because I am staunchly "union", I have often participated in union political activities, like rallies at the state capital or calling people to get out the vote on a certain issue as well as for a certain candidate.

Two or three years ago, our Governator decided to raid the teacher/nurse/fireman retirement system. Because we hadn't been able to participate in Social Security, this made many teachers/nurses/firemen pretty worried and pretty mad.

After almost 25 years in public education, it gets really, really old in having to worry about the funding for one's job. The latest worry has been the passing (or non-passing) of California's budget.

11:02 AM  
Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

yeah! I'm doing voter registration on mondays at a local health clinic - it's very gratifying to be able to sign up new voters. best of luck and have fun!

11:07 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- I'm sure this is frustrating for you!

Mouse -- It's actually fun to do something you really believe in. Go get 'em in Ohio!

11:22 AM  

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