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Printing, Folding, Stuffing, Licking, Stamping, Sorting, Mailing

By David Lytel

After you’ve forwarded today’s urgent last minute e-mail appeals to your friends push back your chair, turn off your computer and leave the building. Head to the local campaign headquarters, pull up a plastic folding chair and jump in. The techniques of last minute mass voter contact may seem archaic by our “new economy”’ standards – folding letters by hand? – but they also represent our best chance to win.

The remaining undecided voters are people who will reach a conclusion based on sense of smell. It is certainly among my personal favorites of the five senses, but it is not one that responds well to reason. And remember, there is a great medium for reaching the last minute voters called television. Let it do its job.

Our job is no longer talking to the undecideds. It is down to the one-on-one telephone calls to Democrats reminding them that this is the election of a lifetime, a contest for the most powerful position on earth that will be decided by their vote.

Even with the millions the Republicans have spent to prepare themselves for this final week of the campaign they have no advantage in this final round of direct, live voter contact. It is a challenge that can only be met with labor, actual human beings. Well, in a Republican operation you’re more likely to find professional telephone solicitors getting paid for what they do, but even if they get paid for it they’re not capable of doing a better job. We can certainly generate as many phone calls as they can, if we all pitch in.

Twenty-seven years ago this election day we were blessed with a massive snowstorm. A friend and I shovelled sidewalks and drove precisely ten voters to the polls, then stood behind the voting machine when it was opened and found that our margin of victory in that district was exactly ten votes. That’s what we’re facing this week. The margin of Al Gore’s victory is out there, waiting for you to get out from behind your computer and go find them, one at a time.