My top five stories from a great weekend on doors for the coordinated campaign:
1. Within the first hour yesterday, a lady said "I usually vote Stripes, but this year I'm voting for the PD candidate." Her statement provided a nice jolt of motivation on a cold morning.
2. Apartments can be very difficult to canvass, but yesterday afternoon I figured out that some apartments could be accessed through their back doors. Most of the people on my list were not home or had moved, but I found some of them. I spoke to two men unloading a truck; one of them lived in a unit I was looking for, but he wasn't the person on the list. I talked to him about the election anyway; he said that he wanted to vote against the governor but wasn't sure that he could vote. It turned out that he had been convicted of a felony but had been off papers for years. Some people had told him that he still couldn't vote, but I assured him that he can (and used my phone to show him an ACLU webpage to remove any doubt). He will be voting for my party's gubernatorial candidate and for me on Tuesday.
3. A short time after the encounter described in the previous story, something even more amazing happened. I went to a house with one name on the list, a young woman, but the person who answered the door was a young man. It turned out that he was the woman's fiancé; he knew that she'd be voting for our candidate but said that he had never voted before and didn't plan to vote this week. He felt that his vote didn't matter because neither side seemed to be working for him and he didn't like politicians. I explained that I was not a typical politician but an engineer who got into politics because of what the governor has done to our state. After a few minutes, I learned that he had been affected by the recent cuts to the state health insurance plan and was angry about it. I explained that he should be angry at the governor and assured him that his vote for our candidate could make a big difference because she will immediately accept hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government to expand the insurance plan. I asked him to please think about voting this week, and he said "No one's ever talked to me about voting the way you just did." The next discussion topic was how to register at the polls, and I think he'll be there on Tuesday!
4. Another apartment story: Two upstairs units, one outside door, two doorbells, no response to either one after about a minute. I was about to leave literature on the doorknob when the door opened. The man who answered was on my list and quickly volunteered that he's my party, but he added that his wife (who wasn't on the list) is disabled and can't get to the polls because they don't have a car. I didn't have the phone number for rides to the polls, but I asked for his number and made a note on the first page of the walk list that he should be contacted ASAP. I turned in my list, picked up some more turf, and by the time I turned it in yesterday evening someone in the office had already called him. All canvassers should have this information with them: Citizen Action will provide rides to the polls, and the number to call is 555.5309.
5. My next-to-last door today was a great way to wrap up a very busy weekend. It was dark already, and nothing stood out about the house as I walked up to it. The lady who answered the door immediately recognized me and said -- in a very positive and encouraging voice -- "We voted for you last week, and we already have signs!" She and her husband had put away their yard signs for trick-or-treating but hadn't put them back up because they were raking leaves this weekend. She promised to put them up again, but I volunteered to do it for her and asked whether I could add a Primo for Congress sign to their lawn. The answer was yes, and she handed me her signs as I marked the "Supportive" box on my walk list.
After putting up those signs and turning in my lists, I spent another hour putting up more signs around my neighborhood. In two days, we're going to elect a new governor. I can't wait!