Thursday, April 17, 2008

I voted

When I was a junior in college I did a lot of the volunteer coordination for the Democratic campaign on campus at UNC for the 2004 election.

We had the then bold goal of having at least two students outside of Morehead Planetarium during the entire early voting period handing out Democratic voter guides. No one had ever done it before and it was quite a struggle to get enough volunteers to cover all the time slots but we pulled it off.

So imagine my surprise this afternoon when I went to cast my ballot and saw about 25 students out there vying to get me to support their choice for President (and one person for Hampton Dellinger as well.) We begged and cajoled to get two people an hour during the general election last time around and now there's a swarm for the primary.

I guess that was my first in person visual experience of how different this year is.

Anyway, it was great to see a line out the door of students voting on this first day. I cast the 393rd ballot at about 1:30. There were around ten people in the same day voter registration line, two of whom were middle aged! That was a really neat thing to see.

Obviously 99% of these people are there to vote in the Presidential race, which made me wonder how on earth all these folks decide how to vote on the rest of the ballot. Most of them haven't had much exposure to the Governor's race, much less candidates for offices like Labor Commissioner or Auditor.

If I was consulting a well heeled candidate I would encourage them to send a direct mail piece out to voters 18-25 who registered in the last six months focused on issues like college tuition and minimum wage. This is really an untapped market of voters and for the most part we haven't shown any clear favorites with younger voters in the races down ballot from President.

And since I voted now and can't take it back, all you candidates and candidate surrogates can harp on PPP all you want for the next 19 days without the risk of losing my personal vote!


Anonymous said...

I never vote until election day, unless I will be out of town. You never know what might come out to change your mind about the candidates.

No said...

Less than three hours later when I voted the vote count at Morehead had almost doubled. I'm glad to finally have a decent excuse to ignore the barrage of phone calls, emails, and personal requests to vote for this candidate or the other.

Now, if only I could get them to stop asking me to volunteer. Whoever let my cell phone number sneak out to every council of state candidate in NC is going to get a firm scolding as soon as I find out.

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