Midnight: Just got home from the post-election “party.” We closed up shop in Shoreline at about 8:30 after the last of our poll watcher data came in. We had CNN on and the mood visably deteriorated as the results started to come in.
About 1/2 hour ago I was sitting next to one of the teenagers who came up to Everett with me to volunteer for a day. “What did we do wrong?” She asked. “We didn’t do anything wrong,” I said. “And neither did you. You were there and you worked really hard – I SAW you do it.”
But I wonder. I talked with her mom for a while at about 10pm. We both wondered if things wouldn’t have turned out differently if the party machinery wasn’t so fucked up. But now, I’m going to bed. I’m going to try, for now, to believe that I did all I could for this election. Washington is a Kerry state right now, and Patty Murray kept her seat. That’s what I worked on and for now, for the next 24 hours, it’s going to have to do.
5pm Update: We’re still cranking out the vote here in Shoreline. Our second shift is working really hard – we finally lost Gretchen at about 4pm and she got here first thing this morning right after we opened the doors. The high schoolers are here too, they got in a little after three and they helped us finish up our call lists – we’re in round two, now we’re just calling people who we left messages for earlier today.
I just spent a little time talking with one of our canvassers, a tall guy wearing a “Canucks for Kerry” button. He told me that in Canada, they’re not allowed to broadcast results until the polls are closed on the West coast. Of course, here, we’d have to wait for the Hawaiians to close up shop if we did that, but I can’t help but wonder what would have happened in 2000 if we’d done it the Canadian way. The Web has certainly thrown a wrench in the works – a private citizen was taken to court for publishing the results on his own site.
We’re running our final poll check at 6:30, but so far our turn out looks really good. We’re checking results online when we get a lull in the action, but it’s a little like being in the eye of the storm. We’re working really hard here and we don’t have a lot of time to see what’s going on out there in the world.
Short update: Jay Inslee came in and shook hands with all the volunteers and headed out again into the rain. We had so many people show up we had to set up an overflow phone bank with the Sierra Club down in Fremont. We also got a pile of cell phones that were supposed to be used by the canvassers – we put our callers on them.
Chris, one of the staffers, walked through around 11 am to give us the numbers and we cheered like crazy.
Apparently there was some kind of snafu around lunch because we ended up with three boxes of KFC for 100 volunteers. The pizza showed up later, but only one box made it down to us. I grabbed a slice and headed back to Cap Hill to go to the polls. I’m going to vote and head back up to Shoreline, but what I really want to do is take a nap. Whew, it’s going to be a long day.
I’m at the front desk at the Jay Inslee campaign office where I’ll be spending my day. We got here at about 6:50, the place was already packed. It’s pouring rain, but the team captains have come out in force, wearing rain pants and hats and carrying umbrellas. They’re having snacks and getting their maps and in about 1/2 hour, they’re off to the neighborhoods to get out the vote. My phone bank team has gone on a coffee run – we didn’t want to get you out of the shower to answer the phone, but we’ll be starting our efforts around 8 and we’ll be here until 8 tonight.
It’s the big day. Let’s vote, people.