October 9, 2008

Look What You Did During Golden Week

Monday was the final day of Golden Week here in Ohio, and we ROCKED IT!

That was the day we banked just over 800 votes (exact tallies to be confirmed).

That was the day we hit our single biggest total.

That was the day when all our advance work and publicity paid off. It shows the cumulative power of our relentless organizers, drivers, team leaders, and supporters. We built a great organization together, and no matter what curveballs came our way, we persevered with our mission.

That perseverance touched people. As corny as it sounds, our work here hasn't just added thousands of voters. It has changed lives. Original volunteers have decided to stay longer to keep driving early voters. New recruits found over the course of our activities have thrown themselves into the cause. One of our team leaders in Cincinnati called on Tuesday to announce "The amazing volunteers here just won't be stopped!"

Deep down, I think he's why all of us do this work -- to make our democracy work for the people that need it most. That's justice.

So, how does it all add up? What do we have to show for our blood, sweat and tears?

During Golden Week, Vote Today Ohio banked ~3300 votes and 621 voter registrations. Did we make a critical contribution in America's #1 battleground state? Absolutely!

Our 3300 votes were far more than just a drop in the bucket. Consider this: In Franklin County (home to Columbus), 9264 people voted early during Golden Week. Vote Today Ohio vans (and cars and marches) moved 1369 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.

Plus, we
broke new ground. We asked ourselves a risky question -- could a hard-working and intrepid group of volunteers actually make good on an untested Golden Week voter mobilization program? Would voters respond? Could we pull it off in just three wee weeks? The answers are a resounding YES. Sure, we learned some tough lessons. But we learned them well, and by the end of the week, we had the kind of smooth, professional operation that any campaign would die for. With some strategic tweaks, our Golden Week program will now become a powerful tool.

Now for an important announcement: Over the next few days, our core team will be processing and analyzing this amazing experiment. We're already planning our next steps. We've built something strong and effective, and are compelled to keep it moving. So please stay tuned for our next phase, and don't be surprised if we invite you back!

We should all feel immensely proud of the work we did -- from driving voters to the polls to engaging with them directly, from supporting us with donations to housing our volunteers, to a zillion other things. We've accomplished an historic feat this week. Go ahead. Pat yourself on the back. Celebrate our success!

With deep, deep respect for all you've done this week,
the Vote Today Ohio team

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