When friend Richard Margolies many months ago urged me to join him in going to Ohio to help canvass for the President, I quickly agreed. Richard had previously canvassed in PA, VA, IN, and OH and believed the balance of this election depended upon who would win in Ohio.
So, on Friday morning, Nov. 2, 2012, as the sun was just coming up, RM, who had driven to Ohio two days earlier to begin his canvassing, picked me up at the Columbus airport to begin a six day period I will never forget.
Starting Friday and continuing until Tuesday at 7:15 PM, we knocked on doors in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood (1.6 square miles, 2,610 inhabitants) of Columbus, a largely African-American neighborhood that in some places seemed to me like an ‘urban Appalachia.’
Our task was specific: we were to get Obama supporters and registered Democrats who had voted in previous elections to go to the polls and cast their ballots.
Each day we were given lists of individuals with their street addresses and a script and literature. Then, from 9:30-noon, 12:30-4 pm, and 4:30-7:30 pm, we knocked on doors, spoke with those who answered, left literature, and marked our lists, noting who had already voted (early), who had returned (or not) their mail in ballot, and who needed to be encouraged to get to the polls.