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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Preparing for the Election of Our Lives: My Plea

Ann-Marie Luciano Bio

23 days now separates us from Election Day. After eight years of Bush/Cheney and over a year and a half of Presidential campaign politics, we are finally arriving at our new destination: Change. After a barrage of negative ads, false attacks, and the McCarthy-style politics of guilt by association, Obama has moved from obscurity to leading with a ~7 point margin in today's national poll average. His message is breaking through the noise. Finally.

What scares me most right now is not the prospect of an "October surprise" (we see how well Obama handles crises like our financial meltdown compared to McCain). I am most scared right now about the prospect of losing this election because of false confidence in polling numbers.

We know the story. In 2000 and 2004, our candidate was gaining momentum before election day. Things looked good. Democrats were getting excited. And then election day comes and the voters simply don't turn out. There are many excuses. Some voters figure that the polls look good – they're "just one vote" so not showing up to vote won't make a difference. The weather is bad. The lines are too long. There are stories in the media about registration problems. Voters are being turned away. What a hassle.

We cannot let this happen. We have worked too hard and have suffered too much to let this election slip away because of complacency, disorganization or misinformation. Forget about the polls. Work as if Obama is down by 20 points. Fight for this. As we saw with Florida in 2000, every single vote can make a difference. As we saw with Ohio in 2004, misinformation can be devastating (e.g., "misinformants" telling voters waiting in line that they couldn't vote if they were delinquent in paying their bills). We need to be diligent. Here's what each of us can do:

Talk to your family and friends. Many people have tuned out the ads, the media and even the candidates by this point. Some people simply are sick of the political news. Many people are more easily persuaded by those that they love and respect than by strangers on TV. Send an email to your family and friends telling them your own personal reasons as to why you are supporting Obama. Better yet, give them a call. Make sure they are registered to vote. If they say they are, make sure they double check their registration status anyway. An article this week in the New York Times describes voters being purged from various state lists. You can read it

Canvass. The next best thing to talking to loved ones about Obama is to talk to other voters in person. Canvassing – walking door to door to hand out literature and talk to voters – is a highly effective method of increasing support and voter turnout. To help out with efforts in VA or PA, please click here. Volunteers are being sent to VA and PA from points all across Maryland between now and election day. We need your help.

Phone Bank. If you aren't able to travel to VA or PA, please volunteer at one of the many phone banks throughout the state to call voters. There is a simple script and it's a fun way to connect with other voters across the country. To see the list of Maryland events, click here
or email me at for more information.

No matter what the polls show, we need to fight for this victory like we never have before. Bumper stickers and yard signs alone won't win Obama any votes.


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