GOTV goes door to door

Indiana Daily Student: With the election quickly approaching Tuesday, local campaigning has not slowed down.

On Sunday afternoon, community members arrived at the Democratic Party headquarters on N. Morton Street, ready to go door to door and encourage people to get out and vote.

Vincent Halloran, Get Out To Vote director for the coordinated Democratic campaign of Evan Bayh, John Gregg and Shelli Yoder, said this year is different from previous years because democratic campaigns with a Senate, Governor’s race and Congressional race are all working together at the same time.

Volunteers lined up to get paired together with a clipboard and script. Halloran ran them through the script, he told them to ask each person for their name, remind them Election Day is Tuesday and ask if they have voted yet. He added to make sure they ask for their support for the Democratic ticket.

“Everyone’s doing the same actions, we’re all knocking doors together, all making the same phone calls,” Hallaron said. “So it’s one of those cool times where all of the Democrats are working together.”

Halloran previously worked as the Regional Field Director for the John Gregg Campaign for Southern Indiana. He said in this last month everyone is working together to turn out voters.

The effort is a part of the Southern Indiana Get Out the Vote effort for all Indiana Democratic candidates. Volunteers sign up for times to either go out and canvas for candidates, or make GOTV calls from the Monroe County Democratic call center.

He said this local office in Monroe County is expected to have as many as 500 volunteers turn out in the last four days leading up to the election.

He said university students are also a large part of these volunteers. 30 interns for the Gregg campaign, all college students, help run the local office on a day to day basis.

“A lot of people in the community are getting involved.” Halloran said.

Geoff McKim, a county council member said he has been canvassing and volunteering for campaigns for years.

He said people are usually responsive to him when he goes door to door, and he has been doing it for a while, as a member of the local political community.

“It’s usually positive, we’re getting out the vote for people who are likely to vote Democratic,” McKim said.

He said people sometimes even stop him to talk about the issues as he’s canvassing.

“One time, the woman answered the door and I introduced myself, and she yells back to her husband, ‘Honey! Do you want to talk to a politician?’ And he said yes, and they wound up dragging me in the house and we talked for about half an hour,” McKim said. “It was fine. It’s always interesting.”

Halloran said the canvassing efforts are based off of data the party receives.

“We’re able to target all of our door knocking to people who are specifically likely to be Democrats and people we think will turn out to vote,” Halloran said. “We exclude unregistered voters.”

Eric Schmitz, county recorder, said canvassing is the most effective way to get out the vote.

“I think the face to face contact is the best,” Schmitz said. “They can see you’re standing right there, you get that eye contact, the full conversation.”