Friday, September 17, 2004

Goats and GOTV 

Esteemed reader Raison de Fem points us to an incredibly useful site, courtesy of Michael Moore: Registration Deadlines State By State.

A hasty scrolldown reveals that possibly as many as HALF the states have deadlines in just two weeks, Oct. 1-4. Oct. 1, as it happens, is a Friday this year. I suggest all voter registration encouragers to treat Oct. 1 as the deadline by which forms must be either postmarked or physically in the hands of the registrars.

Mike has some useful data for college students on voting at school vs. back at home. My advice is to vote back home, since you know you should call your mother anyway and she will be so relieved that you are asking for an absentee ballot rather than money it will make her day. And at worst you can always ask for money later in the conversation. You may have to have voted in person at least once before you can vote absentee so check this too.

Xan Advice: (1) Carry stamps. I am looking at a TN form I picked up at the Davis-Kidd Bookstore in Jackson yesterday (free plug for good citizenship behavior), and it isn't postage-paid. Don't be a cheap bastard like TN is, blow contribute $3.70 per ten voters and think of it as an investment of good will.

(2) If you live on or near a state line, carry forms from both. Yeah it's work, but people will be impressed by your dedication and/or too embarassed to refuse by this point. As a form of nonviolent coercion I think even Gandhi would be impressed.

(3) Don't be shy. You're not asking for money, a committment, an oath of fealty or a DNA test. You can even phrase it as "hey, have you moved since you voted last time, you know you have to re-register in your new precinct" which is both perfectly true AND lets both of you avoid having to raise the question of whether the person has voted since the Carter administration.

(4) And if anybody hits you with a refusal because they think registering to vote will make them eligible for jury duty--nope. They're already in the pool if they have a driver's license. If they still argue after you point this out, skip 'em, they're so stupid they'd probably vote Bush anyway.

So that's my nag for the week on GOTV. When I got back into active politics (thanks to blogs) I had forgotten that acronym and kept trying to figure out what the hell it meant. Go TV? TV sucks, that would be stupid. Go on TV? Ehh, no--when it comes to appearance, I've got a body for radio.

Get Out The Vote, somebody finally said. D'oh! I said, slapping my forehead. Fact remains, it's the most important thing us foot soldiers in the trenches do in an election year. Personal contact and interest is the most powerful influence on anybody to do anything.

Most people are so lonely and don't realize it, that making any non-commercial human contact at all is a real rush. Being asked for a favor conveys a feeling of power, also a strong behavioral reinforcer. You have more influence as one person than a $20 million media buy.

If we turn out even 20% of the non-voting half, Kerry's landslide will be of historic proportions. And we have to win, or the goats will cry.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
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