Knocking on doors in PA 6

I spent most of Sunday knocking on doors in Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, getting out the vote for President Barack Obama and Dr. Manan Trivedi.

For the past month, my oldest daughter has been an intern with the Trivedi campaign. She turned 18 at the end of October, so this will be her first election as a voter. She found out about this internship on her own, applied, and has been working tirelessly after school and on weekends ever since. I canvassed with her one day in Phoenixville and was impressed by her ability to answer voters’ questions on the issues and where Trivedi stands on them.

I’m enormously proud of her.

Trivedi is a good guy — a former combat surgeon in Iraq. He faces an uphill battle against incumbent Jim Gerlach. It’s not that Gerlach is popular, or that he has an impressive record in Congress. But he’s running for re-election in a Gerlach-mandered district, redrawn to give him a lopsided advantage in registered voters.

Seriously, just look at the 6th, 7th and 16th districts on this map. The 7th has a longer external boundary than Texas. It’s a corruptagon. This is what gerrymandering looks like when its done by people who are both: A) incapable of subtly; and B) unconcerned with hiding what they’re doing.

So tomorrow I’m working for my daughter and Dr. Trivedi, driving voters to the polls and doing whatever else it is she/he needs me to do.

One fun side effect of my daughter’s campaign work: yesterday she ran into BooMan, who was also out volunteering for GOTV. I knew he lived nearby, but I’ve never met him myself because we have nothing in common — he’s a liberal blogger who grew up in Jersey, and … oh, wait.

Anyway, the point there is that if a couple of introverted bloggers can go out to knock on doors and GOTV, then you can maybe do it too.

  • depizan

    Actually, it’s mostly been “do you have the right ID to vote?” and “do you need help getting to the polls?” Which are good and important questions, especially if the callers have some way of helping people who respond with no and yes as opposed to yes and no.

  • Jesse

    I thought we weren’t going to be using this absurd distric map this year, so I showed up all ready to vote against Joe Pitts in district 17, and found out I’m now part of that district 7 monstrosity. Great.

  • Amaryllis

    So. I’m just back from my polling place, and I’m happy* to report that The Vote Has Been Gotten Out.

    I’ve never seen lines like that, not even for the 2008 election. Of course, the two dozen ballot questions to be voted on made for a longer than usual time at the machines, but there were still a lot of people there.

    * Happy, for a certain qualified version of happiness. I may live in one of the bluest of the blue states, in a gerrymandered Democratic district, but my little pocket of it tends to tilt conservative Republican. I have a sinking feeling that a lot of my neighbors turned out to vote against everything I was voting for.

    And then I got home to a ringing phone– political robocall– and a voicemail message– political robocall. It may be all part of the process, but ENOUGH ALREADY.

    It’s gonna be a long day.

  • Cathy W

    Personally, this year, I found getting called and visited by actual human beings to be tolerable – mostly because it gave me the opportunity to tell them that I would get off my deathbed to vote for the candidate who they wanted to make sure had my support, so could they please stop wasting their own time and mine by calling and/or visiting? It didn’t stop, entirely, but it made me feel like I had a little power in the situation.

    The person I would call white hot flaming death from the skies down upon is the one who invented the autodialer / “robocall”. Yes, I hung up on them, and eventually stopped even answering the phone for numbers I didn’t recognize, but it felt a lot more intrusive than phone calls from humans.

  • cminus

    I believe that as of today Maryland has two Republican congressmen, not one: there’s Roscoe Bartlett in the Appalachian panhandle (whose seat is targeted by this particular gerrymander) and Andy Harris in the eastern shore (who should still cruise back into office).

  • http://dumas1.livejournal.com/ Winter

    Just got back from casting my write-in vote for Charles Darwin over Paul Broun. Some days I think Georgia should start listing political nuts as an export along with peanuts.

    The district doesn’t look too gerrymandered, aside from splitting up my more-liberal-than-the-rest-of-the-state hometown. On the other hand, the state rep map for the area is a mess and the legislature really screwed over the local government’s districting.

  • Dash1

     

    There’s been little point in our past interactions with you. You shall not be missed.

    Although I tend not to agree with aunursa about much, I still appreciate many of his comments here.

  • http://hummingwolf.livejournal.com/ Hummingwolf

    That thing is why in Maryland you can never be sure of just who your rep is, cause the people across the street might have a different on. OK, I am totally being sarcastic there,

    The fact that you were being sarcastic doesn’t make what you said any less true.  In past elections, I’ve gone to my nearest grocery store here in Maryland and been greeted by a congressional candidate who really, really wanted me to vote for him, only to realize that I lived on the wrong side of that district line.  People in far distant towns may vote for the same candidate I did, but people a few blocks away have to vote for someone else.  If I had the energy, I could have some fun walking in & out of the congressional district just by walking in a nearly-straight line.

  • http://hummingwolf.livejournal.com/ Hummingwolf

    Being unemployed gives me one advantage at election time:  I can choose when I get out to vote.  A little after 2 p.m. today, my polling place had no line worth the name–there were two more voters there than there were voting machines.  I voted, ate lunch at a local café, did some grocery shopping, came home, and my landlord’s wife was still surprised that I’d gotten home so soon after leaving.  This morning’s lines were apparently pretty brutal.

  • Amaryllis

     Yes, you’re right, of course.

    I try not to think about Andy Harris.

  • frazer

    I was a poll watcher up near Ambler, PA, and the turnout there surpassed that in ’08–over 80% of the precinct voted.  I was impressed.  
    I’ve heard the argument that gerrymandering (and I was moved from PA’s 6th district to the 7th) makes it harder for moderates to get elected and compromises to be made, as politicians are increasingly in safe districts and don’t have to appeal to swing voters.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     That thing looks like a sigil to summon Cthulhu.


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