Yesterday I did something that I have never done in my 15 years of working in politics-- I actively reached out to my friends and neighbors to get them to the polls for a candidate that I was not employed by.
I often call myself "a house cat" when it comes to campaign work- I will stuff envelopes, help feed campaign workers on election day and of course raise the money to run the campaign. But voluntarily going out and telling people that they need to vote-- not so much.
I felt compelled to get off my duff and actually do something to help my community because, for the first time in the 12 years I have been living in Brooklyn, there was a truly competitive race where there was a stark difference between the candidates. My concern was that the generally apathetic electorate in my neighborhood would just assume that the "good guy" would win and they would stay home.
So I emailed, facebooked, tweeted, texted, posted on the neighborhood blog, told all of the parents at my daughter's playdates and stopped my neighbors in the street.
My guy won with almost a 4 to 1 margin.
So that begs the question for those who are not "triple prime" voters. "Why all the effort if the good guy is going to win by such a wide margin? Did he really need my vote to win?"
The short answer is-- you cannot take anything for granted.
What if for every email I sent, the other side was taking 10 van loads of people to the polls?
EVERY vote counts. This particular race was a blow out but earlier this year we saw a State Senate race decided by a hand count of the ballots that determined the winner won by less than 40 votes. Would an extra couple of emails or conversations with the neighbors shifted the outcome? Possibly.
When you see what is going on in Washington and State Houses across the country don't you think we should be doing all we can to get more good guys into office?