POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Does getting out the vote start with getting out on foot?

BY Brenda Flanagan, Senior Correspondent |

Three canvassers hounded Carolyn Marino this campaign season, even though she recently moved to a suburban Chester Township road with no sidewalks.

“I listen politely, but I come from a long line of Democrats,” she said.

She said politicians — even President Donald Trump — have called her.

“Trump, I’m sure it was a recording, but he called me,” Marino said. “I’m learning to live in the suburbs, and I’m learning they’re fanatical over here about who is in office.”

Democrat Tom Malinowski this past weekend unleashed a door-knocking horde 1,000 strong upon the 7th Congressional District. They rang Jennifer Rosario’s bell.

“I mean, it is a little, I don’t know, invasion of privacy. I mean, it never happened before,” she said.

“I asked them if they were Democrat or Republican. They said Democrat, I said you’ve got my vote” said Tom, who only gave his first name.

“This time of year, under the circumstances, you have to expect it,” said Donald Picot.

In a fraught election, campaigns can risk over-saturation in their final surge to get out the vote. But studies show “… door-to-door canvassing was the most consistently effective and efficient method of voter mobilization…”

“That personal connection is still very strong and important and people appreciate it,” said 11th Congressional District Candidate Jay Webber. “The reaction is generally very, very positive.”

Webber knocked on doors in Lake Hiawatha this morning. Voters that did get to chat appreciated the effort.

“That he’s interested, that he’s trying to get some votes. I hope he makes it,” said Gerry Behnke.

“It’s quite surprising,” said Tom Cavanna. “Going to vote for Jay Webber.”

“You get to know him, meet him,” said Frank Puopolo.

You’ll see a lot more people going around the neighborhoods tomorrow and knocking on doors. It’s going to be time to get people to the polls for Election Day.