Now that I’m dried off and warmed up a bit, I thought I’d write about how I spent my morning. After leaving Lizzie and the boys at home, I headed into Wake Forest to one of the churches, where the Obama camp had set up a Get Out the Vote station. I got my two-minute training, a pack of pamphlets and door hangers, and a ten-page packet of addresses and a map.
I had about thirty houses of registered Democrats and Undecideds on my list for door-to-door canvassing to make sure people voted and knew where to vote. The catch was, it was in McCain country — an upscale community called Wakefield.
And it started raining as soon as I got in my car to stop at my first house…
I have to admit, knocking on people’s door like a traveling salesman is not my idea of fun. I’m not really a people person in that way. As much as I hate talking on the phone, I would’ve preferred that over bothering people in their homes. But I figured getting out was better than waiting around for the results to start rolling in. And it was still better than going to work!
A couple things I learned, knocking on doors in the rain:
- A surprising amount of people are at home during the day — about half of the houses I hit had someone there. Don’t people work?
- There are some big-ass houses in this neighborhood. What do these people do for work?
- Quite a few of those big-ass houses were for sale — I saw about a dozen For Sale signs.
- If a house on my list contained McCain supporters, they were closing the door on me almost as soon as they saw my Obama-Biden stickers. They also looked at me like they smelled something funny (hey, I showered!).
- I had a couple nice conversations with Obama supporters, including a black guy who’d already voted for Obama who told me “Maybe that’s why my neighbors don’t talk to me much” when I mentioned that there were a lot of McCain signs on his street.
- Everyone I talked to had voted already in early voting, except for one person who was on her way to voting in an hour. Early voting in North Carolina was a brilliant idea.
- And finally — knocking on strangers’ doors is no fun.
All in all, it was worth it, but the next time I volunteer, I think it’d be better to do so earlier. I don’t feel like I did much good today, as pretty much everyone I talked to had already voted. But it was a good experience, and it beat sitting at a computer and checking all those interactive maps obsessively…
And I just remembered the first (and last) time I volunteered in an election — it was a Get Out the Vote while I was in college, knocking on doors at my dorm. For Mike Dukakis, in 1988! I think today’s results will be better than those from 20 years(!) ago.
Here’s hoping we can turn North Carolina blue in all the various elections today!