Thursday, October 14, 2004

From the Battleground [WI] ...

Another view of last week's trip to Wisconsin (10/9), this one from Jonas Heineman:
Over 200 volunteers piled into four busses and dozens of cars this past Saturday to lend a hand to our northern brethren in what could be the effort that makes the difference for John Kerry in Wisconsin. The second-largest trip to date had the greatest success yet, collecting more absentee ballot applications per person than any previous trip... so many that the folks in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Madison, Beloit, and Racine are still counting!

But we're confident that we have had many absentee ballot applications returned and many more applications handed out. That means the potential for thousands of votes in the bank for Kerry/Edwards, less waiting in poll lines on election day, better paper trails, and the ability to concentrate election-day efforts in areas that need us most.

I canvassed in the 1st ward, right on the Milwaukee/Glendale border after getting up at 4:30 to help with the Obama rally (which many Chicagoans attended before canvassing), and I was welcomed with open arms.

During the course of the day, I was invited into many homes and yards (and allowed to use a restroom), given three glasses of water, a grape soda, a chocolate bar, and 21 absentee applications, my best yet! Even the Republicans and dogs were nice... My conclusion: the weather is getting cooler, but people are warming up to us and willing to do what it takes to win the most important election of our lives.

This effort is of the kind that gave Dubya the shocking defeat in Iowa in 2000, bringing the electoral vote down to the wire. Since the Republicans usually count on absentee votes, they were wrongly confident about winning the state with the absentee ballots yet to be counted... but Gore ended up winning by a few thousand votes when they were all tallied.

We all know how Dubya has made us feel the last four years. The least we can do is pay him back with the unpleasant surprise of defeating him where he needs to win in battleground states like Wisconsin. Karl Rove may play dirty, but we play tough. And we've got the ground game to back up the convictions that bring back our veteran canvassers week after week to help in this powerful outreach effort.

So until every vote matters just as much as the next, we'll keep travelling north to swing the state for Kerry like our lives depend on it... because they do.
[Note, Jonas Heineman is one of our Trip Coordinators.]


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