Thursday, November 09, 2006

Vote Beeblebrox!

I've got a couple of posts just about ready to go, but was sidetracked for a couple of weeks doing some volunteer election work in the evenings. I was primarily making calls to encourage people to vote, helping them to find polling places, and answering any other questions. The organization I was calling for had us make calls in areas where races were close, to people who were registered but unlikely to vote. Calling people cold is not a very rewarding experience, but overall I'm glad I participated in the process. After having made several hundred calls, I'll offer the following state-specific observations based only on my experience:

Florida - generally cordial about the calls
Massachusetts - the most willing to talk about actual issues
Ohio - I spoke to a lot of angry people
Connecticut - Most people didn't answer the phone
Missouri - probably the best answer rate, and people were generally polite
Pennsylvania - people were guarded but cordial
Virginia - better than Ohio, but overall not happy people

I don't have much data, but people in Ohio and Virginia just sounded completely worn out by the election. I suspect they are tired of being in the in the national spotlight, and are tried of being polled, advertised to, and harassed. I got a few comments like "this is the ninth time someone has called me!" In all states about 10% of my calls were to people who actually wanted some information about how and where to vote. This about the same percentage who told me clearly that they "didn't give a fuck about my election" and slammed the phone down.

I also learned the following:

  • People don't like to be called at home
  • People really don't like to be called at home after 8:30pm
  • People really, really don't like to be called at home after 8:30pm to be told they should vote
I'll try to find a different way to help get out the vote in '08.

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