Saturday, October 23, 2004

Voting and PhoneCorps

I voted today. We have "early voting" here, which is really voting by absentee. In my case, I voted curbside and made sure that my dad took in my ballot. I'm still paranoid about the potential of someone's carrying in my vote that might have differing political views from mine. It seems as if it should be possible to come up with some scheme to maintain the privacy of curbside voters. Or perhaps they could hold early voting in accessible locations? What a novel idea.

This afternoon I debated about whether I should participate in the Kerry-Edwards campaign PhoneCorps. I really wanted to do it, but then I discovered that I would be calling people in other states. I don't have a long distance plan and I was skeptical about whether my cell phone would be good enough at my house. I eventually gave it a try and called thirty people. I was signing up people to go door to door to ask people to vote. I left a lot of answering machine messages, but perhaps that isn't too surprising on a Saturday night.
I did end up talking to several people who were very enthusiastic about the campaign, but couldn't participate for one reason or another or had already participated in an event today. One of the women, who I talked to for close to ten minutes, was a charming 79 year old lady who reassured me that all her family members, but one, were voting democratic and stressed how very important it was that we get rid of Bush. A canvasser had already visited her earlier today and she'd already voted, but she was still happy to talk to me about her horror at what has and is happening in Iraq and how the administration compares to what she observed while living in Europe during the second world war. That's the sort of conversation that makes calling random strangers on the opposite side of the nation worth it. ..and maybe some will remember to listen to their answering machines when they get back home.

I almost forgot to stress the significance of this. I'm not sure if I've mentioned previously in my blog, but people who know me quite well probably know that I absolutely hate making phone calls. With some exceptions, such as making restaurant reservations, I feel sometimes extremely anxious before calling and other times just slightly anxious. I don't understand it and probably never will. In any case, I really wanted to participate in this, because it's something that I can actually do for the campaign and I figured it would be good for me.

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