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February 12, 2004

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Dear Auntie Pinko,

I am a Democrat ready to hit the streets and campaign for a truly ELECTED president. I can't wait! Anyone but Bush! What do you think is the best use of my time until the front-runner emerges?

Christiana, Pa

Dear Debbie,

I'm so glad you asked! Because the answer is really simple - you've probably already heard it. But I can't say it too many times:


Now I can just hear some of my readers saying, "Oh, Auntie, not that tired old thing again! There's lots of people already doing that. And anyway, most of those people we register never even bother to show up to vote!"

True enough, but in the first place, there are never too many people working on this all-important project, and in the second, even if only one percent of the new registrants turn out to vote this time, that's still enough to make a real difference! Remember how close the 2000 election was! Even a few thousand votes in a key state can make all the difference.

There are a couple of different ways you can do it. The easiest way is to surf the internet, using "get out the vote" and "voter registration drive" as search terms, and find a group that's already working in your area. They'll probably have lists of eligibles, registration materials, and organization all set up already. Your energy and enthusiasm will come as a welcome contribution.

Another way is to check the Secretary of State's website in your state, and make sure you know what your state law is regarding voter registration - how far in advance people must register, what kind of identification they need, where they may register, etc. Then contact your local election authorities and ask for the information and any forms you might need to help people register.

Then, get together with a couple of friends, and target a place you know. Maybe it's the health club you work out at, or the rec center where you take your kids to play hockey. Take the materials with you, and start asking other people "Are you registered to vote yet?" and offer to help. If the place is agreeable, you can even set up a card table and a bunch of balloons and pass out the information on registration.

Depending on what your local rules are, you can either pass out the actual registration forms, or you can set up a time to pick people up and take them to wherever they need to go to register. Plan a coffee party with five unregistered friends - you'll take them to register, then treat them to coffee. Anything you can do on your own is great, and anything you can do with the help of an organized get-out-the-vote effort is great, too.

The single factor that will have the most impact on whether Mr. Bush is defeated is very simple: How many people come out to vote.

Why do you think the GOP in Florida worked so hard to kick people off the voter rolls? They know, and they're scared. They don't want people to vote. People taking enough interest in politics to actually get out and vote means people watching what they're up to!

There are a lot of people registered on this web site. If we could register three people for every person registered on Democratic Underground, that would be an enormous contribution to a Democratic victory! And it doesn't matter which candidate you support or what platform details matter the most to you. No matter how things turn out, more voters means a better chance of a Democratic victory.

Auntie can't say it often enough, or loud enough:


And thanks so much, Debbie, for giving me the opportunity to bring this up!

View Auntie's Archive

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