I spent the weekend before the election in the Reno, Nevada area, canvassing for the Obama campaign. Got home election night, and went to sleep shortly after the President was declared the "winner." After all the walking in the hot dry environs of Reno, hanging tags (not chads), schmoozing when I could, and dealing with various circumstances, I was ready for a good night's sleep back in my own bed.
The Weekly and many other news sources have covered the ground level efforts that attended this election. I provide here some random anecdotes and observations from my last few days.
Samples of interactions I had in my canvassing:
Me: What's important?
Voter: I will not vote for a Mormon
Me: That does narrow down your options
Me: Hola, Espanol o Ingles? (I am fluent in Spanish, and was assigned to places with a large Spanish speaking contingent)
Small Child: Espanol, mami!!
Woman in towel: I am about to take a shower, I will vote for Obama!
Me: Hi I am from…
She: I have a day care group in my back yard, and let me tell you, anybody who votes for Romney has parked their brains at the door, he is so…blah blah blah…
Me: Glad you are voting for Obama, you need to get back to the kids. (As I walked away, I contemplated how much she had enjoyed having an adult conversation.)
Me: Have you voted?
He: I am a felon, can't vote
Sign on Door: Go away! I don't need any more visits and no more brochures!
I worked different areas in Reno during my stint. One was a pristine community with theme names for the streets (think Rosetta Stone Way) that had rules from the "Neighborhood Association." Another day I spent time in a vicinity that consisted of trailers, dirt roads, more pit bulls than people, no trespassing signs. A different type of "Neighborhood Association."
I was fed up with the TV ads in Reno for the elections after an hour my first night there. It was nothing like what we had in this neck of the woods. It led me to sympathize for those poor people who were getting inundated with such ads for weeks at a time, and getting the in your face visit from the likes of me trying to "get out the vote."
The group canvassing were largely from Northern California, a mix of Gen X's who were working in public interest, government jobs, some retired folks, and other like me who had some spare days and could participate in a cause.
I saw a couple of TV news stories about this type of campaigning around the country, and they reflected in many ways what I experienced.
I am keeping this write up to some anecdotal points, and there could be more.