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Open Thread – Election Day Experiences

Many of us have volunteered during the Pennsylvania Primary season. Along with volunteering comes interesting, sometimes amusing, experiences. Whether you did canvassing, GOTV door knocking, phone banking or handing out literature at the polls, share what you learned or share what you felt. I know, everytime I volunteer, I learn something or I encounter something that I didn’t anticipate or expect. What was it like for you?

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By Cats r Flyfishn

Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up.

2 replies on “Open Thread – Election Day Experiences”

My most recent experiencing was to canvass on election day to ask Obama supporters and undecideds if they had voted yet or not. I didn’t have high expectations, since I knew that a day shift meant most people would not be home to answer the door. Before I reached my first door, I encountered someone I can refer to as a ‘hostile’. I felt harrassed about my opinion, I even received what I felt was an age discrimination (as the person thought I was much younger than I was.) It was relentless, and I could hear a lot of racism in the comments, even though the hostile kept making defensive comments about how he was not a racist. However, my spirits weren’t dampened, and I moved on. We knocked on many doors and found only about 4 people were home and had voted. I felt like we weren’t making an impact… and then we knocked on that last door. It was a difficult place to find – a second story apartment above a business that was not labeled with it’s street address. The door didn’t look like it would be opened, and there was no screen, no place to leave any literature. (We literally climbed what we found out was a fire escape to get there!) The door was answered, and the woman was soooo thankful to see us. She wasn’t sure if she should vote because she didn’t vote last time there was an election. She was so encouraged by our spirit that she came down the stairs to her car and planned to head on over to her polling station. So maybe that long day in the hot sun, and dealing with the ‘hostile’ were all worthwhile for that one person’s vote…
I’m still left wishing that somehow I could have made a BIGGER impact on election day. Hopefully there will be plenty of opportunities between now and November to work toward’s the change that we seek.

Your comment reminds me of a story that a politician once told me. He said he had met a man from his district who told him that he never voted for this politician. The politician asked him “why didn’t you ever vote for me?” The man replied “You never asked me to vote for you.” I let that be a lesson to me so that I have no qualms about asking someone to vote for a particular candidate.

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