By: Thomas Nephew
I went through a phonebank orientation for Russ Feingold remote phonebankers yesterday, and did four hours of remote location phonebanking tonight.
Tell you what: I’ll do four more on Thursday — but maybe you can make an hourly pledge in the comments and then go straight to the Get FISA Right with Russ Feingold fundraising page and make your contribution.
The orientation was attended by at least twenty(!!) people from around the country on a conference call. To get signed up for an orientation, call (414) 727-5682. You’ll get an 800 number and an access code to join the conference call.
Our orientation guy was very good: concise, enthusiastic, organized. He sent materials by email so we had an agenda is and a handout describing the online data entry system to look at. Obviously, with a week to go before the election, I think it’s safe to say the campaign is thinking about getting out the vote (GOTV) — i.e., Lincoln’s old line “find out who your friends are and get them out to vote.”
And that proved remarkably easy in the phone calls I made. When I actually reached someone — as ever, maybe 40 percent of the time — it was almost always “Oh yes!” … “Straight Democratic ticket!”... “I’ve always voted for Russ!”… “We’ll be there!” Some said they’d vote early or absentee, some said they’d vote on Election Day — a sentiment I understand, since I kind of like voting that day too.
Needless to say, some people hung up on me or weren’t thrilled about calls later in the evening. Also, a small fraction turned out to be wavering or undecided voters. Occasionally, people would need to know where to vote early — almost always City Hall or “Village Hall” — and I’d go to one of the votenowwisconsin.com tabs I’d set up for the locales I seemed to be calling — Edgerton, Evansville, Milton, some others. One of them was from Harmony, WI — and to my befuddlement, four of those showed up. Wisconsin is clearly a very harmonious state!
The “VoteBuilder” online data entry software works superbly and the data are well maintained — meaning there were never times where the number was wrong, though (again, as ever) there were often times where it was disconnected or not in service. Once one call was over, you entered the “not home” or “support”/”early vote” information, saved, and got a new person to call. Nice features: (1) sometimes other persons in the household were listed, so you could switch gears and ask for Joe instead of Betty Smith; (2) a “note” field let you describe what happened in the call if need be — wants a yard sign, etc.
Folks, I promise this $3,000 goal is the final one — and we’re very, very close. Could we push it over the top sooner rather than later, so the Feingold campaign has just a little more to work with between now and Election Day? Let’s support Feingold one more time. Thanks!