I spent Election Day volunteering in Virginia, after voting in Maryland around 8:30 am. It was a cheerful crowd of neighbors, many of them friends. Our election judge told us that folks began to line up as early as 4:30 am for a 7:00 am opening. I see so much passion about voting this time around, I can’t wait to see the numbers on voter turnout.
After checking in at the Alexandria Headquarters I was sent on a few errands before a bus with fourteen people from DC arrived. My job was to follow them to a nearby neighborhood field office and then take a few teams of two out for Get Out The Vote canvassing. The field office was in a spacious home where every room was filled with busy staff, family and volunteers. After a thorough briefing on GOTV canvassing, we were treated to lunch, split into teams and sent out to knock on doors.
It was a bright and lovely day for the job. We were canvassing in an outer suburb, crowded with newish town homes. For a few hours we went door-to-door in pairs, hoping to talk to folks, but leaving a sticky reminder note if no one answered. Young parents, seniors and a few other adults were home, and most had already voted. Spirits were high. But there were a few folks that I know went to vote because we came along to encourage them.
I didn’t put all the details together until we were heading back to the field office. Our DC volunteers were homeless men, and many of them veterans. All day we were talking to people of diverse persuasions. There were seniors and disabled volunteers on the phones. An entire family with a big house welcomed people without homes, and we all worked together. This didn’t just look like America, it was America.
I am so proud of my country, and it is an amazing feeling.