wildeyed in NC - Archives
My state, NC, just passed same-day voter registration legislation
It will begin during the next election cycle, 2007. In NC, you will be able to register and vote, but only during the early voting period, not on the actual election day. Not quite the same as other states who do same-day, but still pretty impressive legislation to get passed in a Southern state!
I do tons of voter registration and education. I am formulating a plan to test this new tool and I was hoping to get advice/feedback from folks who have done turn out with SDR in other areas.
I was thinking to try it out in two areas, large apartment complexes and homeless programs.
For the apartment complexes, I was thinking , do a lit drop a few days before sending a team of canvassers around to talk to potential voters face to face, try to get them to go register and vote at the same time.
Homeless shelters are difficult, I have done voter education work in them before with little success. But I was thinking that SDR would work since I don't have to register folks, then come back and find them for voting a month or two later. I can do it all in one day.
Local elections are tight in my city. They have been swinging on as few as 100 votes. So turning out a group of homeless voters could potentially make the local elected representatives much more willing to address their issues.
Local colleges are also a no-brainer, but in my city, all but one seem to swing mildly conservative.
Anyway, those are just some random thoughts I have had on the issue. I would welcome any other comment/suggestions about how to use this new tool.
Camp Wellstone that is
I will post later about what I learned.
as I did with the one in 04. I will not. I can't hurt the way that I did last time and remain politically active and aware. I was scanning CNN or MSN, can't remember which, and my heart did that little trip as I read a headline that cast doubts on the dem's chances to regain the house this year. And I closed the site.
Last time I spent hours each night obsessing about the latest poll, trying to read between the lines, and hours and hours obsessing with other like minded souls about it here. When we lost or got robbed or whatever it was that happened, my heart broke. Still not over it, probably never will be.
Not gonna do it again. Nope.
I am planning a 1st time precinct get together. My precinct is basically unorganized. I am precinct captain, and I did a little canvassing on my own last year, but this is my first effort at recruiting additional volunteers. I have a list of register dems who voted in the last local election. I asked for primary records, but somehow those were unavailable, so last year's low turnout election is the best I have to go on as far as who in my precinct is a committed dem.
My first question, what type of gathering should this be? Would an afternoon get together on the weekend with coffee and snacks be best, or should I go all out and try to do a meal? Maybe an after dinner event on a weeknight? I dunno, I am hesitant to do a full meal, and I wonder if people want to dedicate that much time to a new organization. Also, should I try to get a few candidates to speak?
Second, what type of invite should I do? I was thinking maybe postcards with a hand written hello if I have time.
How should I word the invites? Hi, come over and I will make you do work and try to get your money, or would something about talking about local politics be better?
Finally, once I succeed in enticing a few brave souls into my den of local politics, how should I word my pitch? What I really want is to recruit block captains. My second goal would be to raise some money for the local party.
I know this is a lot to answer, but I figure that any number of you have done this before and can give me the 411. Thanks in advance! I have cross posted this in the Precinct-level Politics Group, but I though I would post here so a wider group of folks might see it and be able to help.
Good weather, too. Overcast and cool for this time of year.
We went to a number of apartment complexes in the city. We didn't use a walk list. It was a non-partisan walk, and anyway, the area is so overwhelmingly Democratic, there is no need. Our group of volunteers was very diverse; some from a local immigration action group, a group of Christians interested in local poverty issues, and a few from my pro-democracy group. We met people from all over the world. Hmong, Colombian, Sudanese, Haitians and that is only a start. It was a fun and productive day. Anyone else get a start on election year activism yet?
I have become extremely interested in the subject after spending way too may hours with a clipboard in the Kmart parking lot on hot summer days trying to get people registered to vote, only to find out later that hardly any of the newly registered made it to the polls.
With Election Day Registration, I can do my registration drives and GOTV at the same time. Much more efficient, plus the people who historically don't turn out at the polls, young people, people who move around a lot, the homeless are better represented.
There is some worry that Election Day Registartion would increase voter fraud, but that hasn't been the case in the states that have adopted the system.
We have a bill pending here in NC that I have been working a little bit to promote. Don't think it will pass this year. We would need almost every single Demo vote to pass it, and there are a few stick-in-the-muds who are not on board.
I think that Election Day could be the first step to reforming the electoral process. I am a Democrat, but I do think that the two party system is killing us in this country. Election Day gives third party candidates a better shot. It gives us in the grassroots a formidable tool to GOTV with, and I think it make the candidates more accountable to the people since more of them will be voting. States with Election Day Registration have something like and extra 10% turnout on election day.
Here is a link with more info. http://www.demos-usa.org/page18.cfm
Any other thoughts on this subject?
I don't even worry about the effect of my actions. I try to be smart, and put my effort where it matters, but in the end, it is the doing that is important.
Someday, when my kids ask me, "Mommy, what did you and Daddy do during that horrible time in the early 2000's?" I want to be able to say that I did something, said something and that they can be proud of what our family stood for. Either that or the bad men will come get me and they will kinda forget who I was, but I try not to think about that too much.
It is funny that you reference the serenity prayer. I have spent large amounts of time meditating on that one. The concept is easy to grasp, but not so easy to live. I am also trying to find a way to live my commitment to the causes I support without so much anger. The anger fuels my energy, but I think is making me bitter and cynical, too. A friend of mine keeps taking about forgiveness, but I guess that is beyond me right now.
while I was at a rally to raise the minimum wage. I am sure I sounded like a complete ass.
I always get interviewed at these things if I bring my kids. I guess they are photogenic. Oh well, if I sucked completely, maybe they will leave me out of the broadcast, or just show pictures of the adorable children.
night after night in the run up to the Iraq war. Not commercial airplanes, which I rarely noticed, but transport sounding planes with propellers. I remember looking up, with tears running down my face, knowing what they were, praying that it would be ok.
I dunno, maybe I was mistaken about those planes, but it seemed pretty clear to me at the time that they were military and that I was observing a historic moment from my cozy backyard. I got my husband once and we both stood out there looking and listening for a long time. Neither of us really believed that it would be ok.
I have been attempting to organize my precinct for about a year. In my state, it is fairly easy. If your precinct is unorganized, you get a form, get the signatures of five registered democrats in your precinct and turn it in. I did that and voila, I am precinct chair.
I have been attending some of the local Democratic organizational meetings, and honestly, it is very confusing for me. First off, I have zero tolerance for bureaucracy, so attending meetings that have a lot of procedural content is about as much fun for me as stabbing myself in the eye with a pencil.
I also have no idea how the Democratic party works. As a precinct chair, in addition to doing GOTV, what I really enjoy, you are supposed to go to conventions and vote for this and that. I don't get it yet. But I am persevering. I could probably do some research and figure it out, but damn it is confusing.
Another thing that is confusing, many of the other precinct chairs have been working together for years, so they have a lot of history, good and bad, but I don't understand what it is. So there is all this innuendo swirling around, but I don't get it.
And why am I am one of the youngest participants at these meetings? I am almost 40. Is this the case in other local dem parties, or is it just in my area? Where are the young people?
It has been difficult to interest other Democrats in my precinct in participating. Several are active, but like most politically active people, they are over-committed. My current plan is to throw a party involving copious amounts of beer and food and invite all the registered Dems in my precinct. From there maybe I can corral a few volunteers and raise a few dollars for the local party.
Which brings me to a serious concern. My local party has no money, and we are not a bright red county, either. Actually, dems do pretty well in local elections. I didn't realize it, but all that money I give to the DNC, well it stays with the DNC. None goes to the local party. In my county, we don't maintain a party headquarters, and there is not a single paid volunteer. And like any organization that runs solely on volunteerism, things fall through the cracks. Even one paid administrative person would make a huge difference. So from now on, I am going to split my donation three ways; 1/3 DNC, 1/3 state party and 1/3 to my local party.
There really is not deep conclusion to this post other than I really want to help build the party from the ground up, to change it for the better, but from my perspective, it seems like it is going to be a long haul. I am not unintelligent and I am committed, but I find the whole process onerous and confusing, especially compared to the issue oriented activism I have done in the past.
Any other perspectives here? Anyone else getting involved for the first time and finding it easier/the same/harder than I? Maybe if the process was easier, more transparent, it would be easier to get new people involved.
Thank you for helping to teach me how to be the best person I can be. How standing for something is, in the end, all you really have and all you will be remembered for. How a small, seemingly insignificant act of courage of can save the world.
I am ready to do some canvassing! The weather has turned nice, too.
My precinct was previously unorganized, so this is a first for the neighborhood. I figure this year, it will be great to get out, meet some of my fellow dems and encourage them to vote. But my real interest is recruiting volunteers for '06, baybeeeee!
I lost mine 20 years ago and never had it replaced.
The hardest single thing I have trouble with making people here on DU understand about this issue is that not everyone has ID. Most of us here are middle class, we own computers, pay a monthly internet service charge. We have bank accounts, credit cards and on and on. It would be impossible to live our lives without an ID. But this is not the reality for many Americans. They are not bad. They are not criminal. They are citizens and entitled to vote. They are also mostly Democrats. And they (and by extension us) are getting screwed by this law.
From another post:
Every step you add to the registration process is another percentage of poor, young, and elderly (and not coincidentally traditionally democratic) voters who will not make it to the polls. If there was evidence of significant voter fraud, I too would support more stringent ID process. But in the absence of fraud, I can only assume that the pugs want this to suppress democratic voter turnout. And in my experience, it will be effective enough to turn tight races, ie. Ohio and FL, to their advantage.
Wise words. Let's see if the country is up to the challenge of differentiating between the two.
local politics, organizing and cooking
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