Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VIRGINIA TURNOUT: William & Mary Students Lead GOTV

Here's a dispatch from Williamsburg, Virginia, by Ben Thacker-Gwaltney, an organizer with the Virginia Organizing Project:

A perfect fall day set the scene for a group of fifty-five volunteers from the a service fraternity at the College of William & Mary this past Saturday. The pledge class from Alpha Phi Omega partnered with the Virginia Organizing Project to deliver door-hangers to over 4500 doors in the Williamsburg area in just three hours. Focusing on neighborhoods of color and low to moderate income communities, the door-hanger encouraged voters to come out on Tuesday and reminded them of poll hours and locations. It also provided the number of the local NAACP office--which is coordinating rides to the polls for the day--plus the election protection number 1-800-OUR-VOTE.

The City of Williamsburg set records this year with new voter registration levels topping 12%, a record for the state of Virginia. Many of those registrations came through the work of students who registered their fellow young people as well as other members of the city community. Working for the Virginia Organizing Project, W&M student Cherie Seise and her three co-interns knocked on almost 10,000 doors over the summer.

African-American neighborhoods all across the region mobilized to get their neighbors to the polls to vote today. VOP partners in the Grove neighborhood recruited a local church to serve as a clearing house for election questions and rides to the polls. Young people from the community distributed over 1,000 door-hangers this past Saturday from the VOP to help crowd the polling places today. Ms. Angela Dennis from Ironbound Square activated their phone tree yesterday. "Yes, we will meet down at the park for a little tea and then all go over to the Recreation Center together," she said.

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