This morning between ten and twelve, I made over 35 phone calls as a volunteer for the Joe Bock for Congress campaign. I was recruited by Joe's wife earlier this week and in my empathy for her, I said , "Yes, I will try it once."
It was interesting to see how a phone bank is run.
The list of people to call came up one by one on my computer after I recorded information from the previous call. All my calls were made to undecided voters between the ages of 65 and 92 so it was a carefully selected group for that time of day. There were four of us calling from the Democratic Party Headquarters downtown.
I was given a script which sounded a bit artificial to me but I stuck with it for the most part. Only one person hung up on me; maybe three curtly said they were not interested. One woman said I woke up her 90 year old patient; another care-giver said the person I asked for was dying of cancer. I was sorry I made those calls. Twenty-three calls were recorded as "No Answer"-- not home, disconnected, wrong numbers, or the refusals mentioned above.
Eight folks were definitely going to vote for Joe in November. Several of those asked who was he running against and when I replied, "Jackie Walorski," the result was a wish to see her out.
That was my motivation for helping out as well. The only other time in my life I worked on a campaign was 29 years ago in Raleigh, North Carolina, when I also was working against someone, "Senator No", aka Jesse Helms. He beat our former Governor James Hunt, a pretty conservative Democrat. I remember handing out information at our polling place with a little Dan on my back.
Will I do it again? I said I would but not until late July. I am thinking I can do this once a month. But does it do any good? Maybe it is an impetus for those eight to be commited to vote. It seems to me that it would be more effective to call closer to election time to make sure folks do vote and know where and when to vote. These elderly folks could vote early or by absentee ballot.
Joe Bock and his campaign manager came by to thank us. At least four other young people were working phones or doing other jobs around the office and they were also very appreciative. I want to support their efforts even if I am not sure phone calling is an effective way to do so.