04 November 2008


Poll Working

I worked Precinct 305 in Volusia County (my precinct in Debary—the local Methodist church) for No on 2 this morning. When I got there (late: about 7:30 a.m. when the polls had opened at 7:00) there was a line around the building, something I've never seen before here (but we only moved here in summer of 2005). The local candidates for mayor and council were at the street, with signs and banners, but no one else was working at the solicitation-limit line for anything, so I positioned myself there and proceeded to greet voters with a cheery "Good morning. Hope you'll vote 'No' on Amendment 2."

It went very well. Of course, the Amendment has its supporters, with recent polls showing it gathering more that 50% support, but not the required 60%, but most folks were pleasant enough back. There was one very tight-lipped woman who got out of an SUV with a "McCain-Palin" sticker on it who gave me a hard look, but I just smiled back at her. And there was an older woman who asked me incredulously how I could encourage anyone to vote "No" on Amendment 2, proceeded to tell me that I probably didn't believe in the Bible, and went off muttering "The Bible says it's an abomination." I really wanted to tell her that she was a good example of God having hardened someone's heart, but just asked her to "please reconsider."

There was quite a bit of good feedback, though, from the young straight couple with their toddler daughter who assured me they were against it, to the woman who told me after voting that she was so glad I was there explaining what the amendment really was to voters and asking them to vote "No."

I look at it like this: First, if I don't ask, why should voters vote the way I want them to. Second, if they're on my side and I ask them, it strengthens their desire to vote the way both of us already think they should. Third, if they're not on my side, it shows them that I'm standing up for my position, not theirs, and in a statistical sense, that's got to work to the advantage of my position. Fourth, my being there when there's not someone from the other side ought to demoralize and sow doubt among the measure's proponents; at least, I hope it did.

I couldn't stay all day: Had to get to work. But I'm glad I took the time. I hadn't done poll work like that in years (1978, I think, for the DEM ticket and the local congressional candidate in TN-7).

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