Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 5, 2012

Volunteers get out the vote

Thousands of calls being made in final days to election

Indianapolis — Indiana candidates and their backers have spent millions to woo voters.

But in these final days, some of the most valuable assets are the call-making, door-knocking volunteers who will help get out the vote.

In scores of field offices across the state, thousands of volunteers are engaged in intensely targeted efforts to get the people the campaigns have identified as supporters to cast their ballots.

“There’s no way to underestimate the value of what they’re doing,” said Michael Edwards, a Democratic field organizer in Indianapolis. “They’re reminding people that

every vote counts.”

That’s become even more apparent in recent days, as some key races appear to be still up for grabs or much closer than expected.

The critical GOTV — the political acronym for “get out the vote” — is “what it all comes down to,” said political scientist Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

“You can spend a boatload of money,” said Downs, “but if you’ve got no plan for getting voters out to the polls, you’re going to lose.”

Indiana Republican Party spokesman Pete Seat said GOP volunteers have made more than 1.6 million phone calls at the party’s 12 “victory centers” around the state since voter identification and get-out-the-vote efforts began this summer.

Democrat volunteers in 20 field offices around the state have made more than 1.4 million calls. Like the GOP, they’re focusing not just on reminding party loyalists to vote, but nudging along those “sporadic” voters who don’t vote in every election, and working on

convincing independent voters to see things their way.

For Republicans, those calls are being made by people like Jodi Smith, a Hendricks County mother of five who has volunteered with her teenage children since earlier this

summer.

Smith alone has made more 25,000 calls, with a goal of 1,000 calls a day in the final days of the campaign. Her value as a volunteer isn’t just the quantity of calls she makes, it’s the content of the message she delivers.

“I talk to them about how important the race is and what’s at stake,” Smith said.

It’s a similar approach that Democrat volunteer Doris Fields has been taking in the hundreds of calls she made from Indianapolis field office. Her calls have been targeted less to reliable Democratic voters and more to the unlikely voters – independents and people who’ve voted sporadically in the past.

“I just tell them, ‘every vote counts,’ said Fields, a grandmother of five and longtime campaign volunteer. But she doesn’t just stop there.

“I tell them: You should vote. It’s your civic duty,” Fields said. “If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain.”

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Gardening-Bee Sanctuaries-3 [Duplicate] Bee sanctuaries Bees are pulling a disappearing act. Honeybees are vanishing from their hives. Bumblebee numbers have crashed so radically that some species are believed extinct. Even native solitary bees are in decline. Food supplies dependent upon pollinators are

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEMA's disaster decisions frustrate state, local leaders Pamela Jackson thought she was lucky to escape harm as a tornado bore down on her neighborhood last November. She huddled in a bathroom with her two disabled sons, critically ill husband and six other family members as the twister blew out windows an

    April 23, 2014

  • timthumb.jpg INDOT to install curbs on Markland

    Indiana Department of Transportation maintenance crews have been scheduled to install traffic separator curbs between opposing lanes of State Road 22/Markland Avenue during the week of April 28. Placement of the highly visible manufactured curbing is

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farmers Market 01 Kokomo Downtown Farmers' Market gets facelift Pint-sized gardeners made homemade Chia Pets at the Kokomo Downtown Farmers' Market Saturday morning while their parents shopped for homegrown produce nearby. The kids packed grass seeds and dirt inside the disposable socks you get at shoe stores. Th

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • FEMA grants disaster aid to Tipton County The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by a January storm that brought paralyzing snow and frigid temperatures. Governor Mike Pence received word Tuesday that FEMA had granted his appeal for fede

    April 23, 2014

  • Native American inmate sues Miami Correctional Facility BUNKER HILL - A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 23, 2014

  • Take Back the Night 17 Crowd rallies around domestic violence victims

    Doran Gwyn vividly remembers the night his stepdad came home from work and sat down at the table for supper. "He looked at the meal and said, 'What is this,'" Gwyn recalled. Then he took a bowl of food and smashed it against the ceiling in a rage and

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Tipton commission appointments get tangled up in confusion Months of confusion over a pair of appointments to two economic development commissions in Tipton County appear to be coming to an end, but not without its share of confusion. Single appointments to both the Tipton County Economic Development Commiss

    April 23, 2014

  • FEMA OKs aid for Tipton, 18 counties, but not Howard Co.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by a January storm that brought paralyzing snow and frigid readings.

    April 22, 2014

  • Energy-saving program powering down this year Ever wonder how energy efficient your house is? You can find out. For free. But not for long. Energizing Indiana, a 2-year-old initiative of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, offers any homeowner in the state a free energy assessment for the

    April 22, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries