Thursday, February 14, 2008

Getting involved ...

Well, the political 'season' is warming up nicely here in Texas. For the first time in many years, we are being courted by the candidates.

Our primary is in March. Usually by that time the race has been pretty well decided, but not this year. The next couple of weeks should see an increasing frenzy of ads on TV and radio. No doubt there will be a debate or two.

E-mails are being sent to everyone known to have a leaning one way or another, asking for volunteers at the precinct level, which is where it all begins.

Texas is a "grassroots" state. When I first moved here years ago, I was intrigued. I wanted to see, first-hand, what all that kind of local involvement might entail. The more I got into it, the more interested I became. I was active at the precinct level, then in a wider area of Houston, and then as a delegate to the state convention.

Volunteers are needed at every level of any campaign. They will be asked to become personally involved, to recruit other volunteers, to organize chapters in the particular areas in which they live, to attend meetings and strategy sessions & take notes, to contribute money and ideas, to stuff envelopes, to spend literally hours on the telephone!

It doesn't end on election day, either! You want to talk about FRENZY?? Now that you've talked to everyone you ever knew (and then some!), you've looked at all the printouts and identified those voters who are most likely to actually cast their ballots for your candidate on election day, you've walked the streets in your neighborhood and handed out just a 'ton' of fliers, you've walked the streets in a lot of other neighborhoods and handed out even more fliers, you've attended multitudinous meeting and strategy sessions, you know what? You're TIRED! -- and you think, "Just one more day and then I can relax. I've done all I can."

Election day is here. You're exhausted, but now is not the time for you to take a nap. Now is the time for you to make sure that all of those voters who have been positively (or even tentatively) identified as being for (or leaning towards) your candidate are personally contacted!

"Good morning/afternoon, this is _ _ _ _ _ calling from campaign headquarters. Have you had a chance to vote today?" (wait) "Wonderful! We're calling all of our people to see if they've had a chance to get out. I'm so glad you did. ... Yes, I can't wait, either, to see what the results are." (or) "Oh, you're planning to vote on your way home from work/on your lunch hour?" (wait) "Wonderful ... etc." (or) "Yes, we know that the traffic/weather is just awful. Would you like us to come and pick you up?" (wait) "What time would be convenient for you?" (wait .. and so it continues ..)

As important as all of the days leading up to the actual date of the election itself are, none is as critical as the day itself. You absolutely MUST get your voters to the polls -- even if you have to drive them yourself! Each person must be made to feel important and invaluable.

Oh yes, I know we all say that an individual vote doesn't matter. As an individual voter, perhaps not -- but, collectively, as a group, yes. Get out your vote!!

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Bravo! Well said!

It frustrates me when I hear people say their vote doesn't count. .....Well.....maybe not much individually.....but I am so proud of the fact that I CAN vote, that I live in a place where voting is even an option!

It's so easy to take things for granted.......