Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Seriously. GOTV

Every single advantage that the Republicans have had in the last two elections, from a popular president to message discipline, etc., is gone.

Except one, if you believe what the Republicans are saying. They still have a get-out-the-vote-machine that Dems haven't come close to matching. Yet.

After a massive (but IMHO inefficient) GOTV campaign in Central Ohio in '04 (I remember working for one of the America Votes member organizations that year, standing on a Weinland Park street corner, talking to the canvassers from two of the other coalition groups, discussing whether we should all walk together because people didn't like having to answer the door every ten minutes), some lessons seem to have been learned:

Historic GOTV Operation Partners Progressive Organizations Around Ohio!

Columbus - In Ohio, the America Votes Coalition has orchestrated a massive Get-Out-The-Vote campaign by working in partnership with one another, coordinating activities, collaborating on ideas, and combining resources, which will result in one of the largest GOTV efforts in the state. The campaign will officially begin on Saturday, November 4th and run through Tuesday, November 7th, Election Day.

The America Votes GOTV "Countdown to Election Day" Campaign involves more than 40 organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, United Food and Commercial Workers, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio, Equality Ohio, the Sierra Club, the Ohio Education Association, ACORN, Equality Cincinnati, SEIU 1199, EMILY's List, the AFL-CIO, People for the American Way, and SEIU Local 3, along with a host of other groups from across the state.

"Two years ago the leaders of the America Votes organization made a pledge to change progressive politics forever, stated Scott Nunnery, State Director for America Votes. " We've spent two years building campaigns of shared strategies, coordinated investments and most importantly, longitudinal outlook. On November 7th, the collective impact of the America Votes Coalition will have an undisputed impact."

As the coalition readies itself for this year's GOTV campaign, activists and members have been recruiting Election Day Workers, an excess of 5000 individuals, who will need to fill 17,000 shifts, over a 96 hour period. The coalition has set-up staging sites in 18 cities across Ohio, including Columbus, Cincinnati, Lorain, Akron, Youngstown, Dayton, and Toledo. In Cleveland, a 40 x 20 foot tent will be erected to house more than 500 workers. These workers will contact, by phone or in person, more than 1 million Ohio voters. "A lot is at stake this year; voters need to know how important it is to get to the polls on Election Day," Nunnery stated, "Ohio is at a crossroads and they hold the power to turn the state around and put it back on track. "

Historically, mid-term election years see a huge drop off in voter participation. In fact, voter turnout is only projected to be 52% this year compared to a 72% turnout just two years ago. The coalition has been working to target voters who have a chance of missing an off season election. "Over the past year, we have been working with our partners to educate like-minded individuals from around the state and provide them with the necessary tools and resources to mobilize voters in their community," stated Karen Gasper, State Field Director for America Votes. "Now it's time for those individuals to get to the polls and vote. "

The coalition will continue to recruit workers up to Election Day. For those who would like to volunteer to work on the GOTV campaign, they should call 1.877.VOTE.OHIO or visit the GOTV Ohio website at www.gotvohio.org.

You probably realize how crucial GOTV can be (for example, if Emily Kreider had a three point lead among registered voters, 51.5 to 48.5, that would be great news. But if David Goodman got 51 out of every hundred of his supporters to come out and vote, but we only manage to get 48 of every 100 of Emily's supporters to the polls, we lose). You probably have no idea how rewarding, and how fun, doing GOTV can be. I'm going to try and list specific opportunities to help out Emily Kreider, Bob Shamansky, and Bev Campbell, but if you're just looking to level the playing field and own a small piece of the landslide, please sign up to do something. Recruit a friend or loved one to tag along. No matter the outcome of any race, you'll feel better on the 8th knowing that you were part of the effort.

1 comment:

Chris Muenzer said...

The Bev Campbell campaign is working the next two days to mail out our last remaining lit pieces. E-mail me if you want to help.

chris@bevcampbellforohio.com