Vote Today Ohio: till the Election!

Yesterday we received the first numbers from our get out the vote early event from Vote Today Ohio HQ. Tate Hausman writes:

During Golden Week, Vote Today Ohio banked ~3,300 Obama votes, plus 621 voter registrations. Did we hit our ambitious 10,000 goal? No. Did we make a critical contribution in America’s #1 battleground state? Absolutely.

Our 3,300 votes were far more than just a drop in the bucket. Consider this: In Franklin County (home to Columbus), 9,264 people voted early during Golden Week. Vote Today Ohio vans (and cars and marches) moved 1,369 of them to the polls. Yes, we directly moved 14.8 percent of the early vote in Franklin County. It’s safe to assume that thousands more heard about Golden Week directly from our work. That’s powerful. We were THE game in town.

These numbers are significant since Stephen Majors of the Associated Press wrote on October 6th that first indications indicated that turnout during Golden Week was light. Majors writes, “Early returns showed about 3,000 voters in Ohio’s four largest counties took advantage of the disputed policy, a surprisingly low turnout to some elections officials.”

Considering that Monday was our busiest day by far and that Vote Today Ohio was one of only a number of groups in the state helping to turn out the vote last week, I’m pretty confident that the early returns cited by Majors presents a misleading picture of the turnout last week. Moveon and ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) were two other groups working in Hamilton County. Jennifer Brunner, Secretary of State for Ohio, reported yesterday that roughly 660,000 voters were newly registered in Ohio. Obviously, only a small fraction of these banked their vote last week but from what I could tell on October 6th, the Board of Elections was busy enough to make the Republican Party here quite nervous. I’m cautiously optimistic for November 4th.

Erik Crew added up the numbers for our efforts in Cincinnati on Monday, by far our busiest day. (Erik is interviewed in this ireport video). We moved 220 votes to the Hamilton County Board of Elections on the final day of registration. Our Golden Week is over but early voting continues. One of our volunteers, Becky from the UK, is staying on and helping make daily shuttle runs from campuses to the Board of Elections. So long as I’m in town I’ll also volunteer to drive and I’m also working on cleaning up GIS data for the Obama GIS working group. Should be a busy three weeks.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to Cathy from the Washingtonrox blog who has a great summary of our effort this last week, and excellent photos of my volunteer colleagues in Cincinnati. Take a look.

About Aharon N. Varady

Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, the Yiddish Forverts, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes. He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words. If you find his work helpful to your own or you'd simply like to support him, please consider donating via his Patreon account.

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