Monday, October 18, 2004

Last Saturday, America Coming Together conducted a training session for volunteers and laid out its plan for the home stretch. The Kerry campaign will be working to get out the base. ACT will concentrate on newly registered voters and infrequent voters.
ACT estimates 125,000 newly registered voters in Missouri. (The Kerry campaign here estimates 150,000 new voters; I don't know why their number is higher.) But get this: Eighty-three percent of eligible adults in the city are now registered! Missouri, in fact, has registered more new voters than Ohio. As for infrequent voters, defined as people who haven't voted more than once in the last four elections, ACT has identified more than 60,000 Kerry supporters. (Again, the Kerry campaign cites a higher number--220,000.) In any case, Gore lost Missouri by 78,000 votes, and ACT intends to more than make up that difference.
Between now and the long weekend before election day, ACT workers will continue phoning newly registered and infrequent voters to i.d. Kerry supporters. As much as possible, they'll also go to the homes of undecided voters to drop off literature. Then beginning on Saturday, Oct. 30, ACT workers will phone all the new and infrequent voters who support Kerry to be sure they know where their polling place is and to ask what time of day they plan to vote. On election day itself, the polls open at 6:00. An ACT worker will be at each one then and several times throughout the day to make sure the vote is going smoothly. Meanwhile, each precinct captain will keep track of who, on his list, has already voted. He or someone on his team will be calling each home on the list to ask. If no one answers the phone to verify that they've voted, a door hanger will be left on the front door or on the garage door if that seems the more likely way a homeowner would enter his house. Once that doorhanger disappears, it means someone is home, and a volunteer will knock on the door to make sure those people have gotten to the polls.
Additionally, rides will be available for voters. Fliers will be put on cars the night before election day, and on November 2nd sound trucks will cruise Democratic neighborhoods reminding people to vote. Rafts of lawyers will be on hand to advise voters on their rights and to prevent any Republican attempts to suppress the vote.
Finally, workers will attend a victory party Tuesday night and hand in their lists of voters. These lists are gold, a starting point for future elections.
Sounds like a plan to me, and some of you will be part of it. If you haven't already volunteered to help somewhere in the state on election day and the weekend before, it's time to get cracking. Take November second off work. That day is too important for you not to be helping Democrats get elected.

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