ACORN stands for Association
of Community Organizations for Reform Now. This
group is a
nonpartisan organization operating in more
60 cities across
It consists of over 150,000 low and moderate income families that are
part of 750 neighborhood chapters. We got involved with them
before the November elections in 2004. We saw what they were
doing to register voters and get them to the polls and decided to help
if we could. We sent e-mail to their Cincinnati branch and
offered to haul voters who couldn't otherwise get to the
We got a call back and were asked if it would be possible for us to
come up a few days earlier. They needed help canvassing
neighborhoods to be sure that all the folks that were registered knew
where to vote and how important it was. We said sure, but
if there was someone who could put us up while we were there.
That was soon arranged (Margo was a super hostess). A little
paperwork we were on our way.
Nancy and I arrived Saturday afternoon. Our first assignment
to make walk lists. To do that we were given lists
registered voters in a precinct, we grouped them by households and then
used a map to divide them up and sort them by street so that a team
could walk them without backtracking (much). I got tapped as
computer troubleshooter for problems ranging from a keyboard that
wasn't working to a database that wasn't producing consistent results
and a couple of network problems. I discovered that a drink
been spilled into the keyboard so I took it apart and dried it since
there wasn't a spare around. The database problem was even
easier. I asked the woman who was running it demonstrate the
problem. While she was explaining each of the steps she was
she realized what was wrong and the problem was solved.
and Monday we did more of the same, made up "Vote Today" door hangers
for each precinct that listed the voting location that would be
delivered Tuesday, and also drove teams out to their areas.
also made runs for pop and ponchos for the teams. Late on
the decision was made to cover even more of the city so we had to
generate walk lists for the new areas.
Election day we each took a van and distributed teams over the city,
delivered lunches, took them to new areas and brought them in at the
end of the day. The teams went to the home of each registered
voter left a door hanger and if someone was home asked if they had
voted yet, whether they were going to vote and if they needed a
ride. Later in the day we checked at the polls to
who hadn't voted yet and they went back to people who hadn't to remind
them again how important it was that they vote. We
made sure that everyone on the teams got to their own precinct to
I didn't hear an exact count but there were more than 130 people on the
teams plus people working in the office managing the operation and
manning the phones.
Here are some pictures from the operation.
A training session and
Teams getting ready to
I set up our computer to
pictures I had taken. This young lady, daughter of one of the
workers at the center, was intrested in the whole process.
We saw some kids out for
who were happy to pose for pictures.
ACORN is nonpartisan but
door was the Kerry/Edwards headquarters so when a motorcade pulled up I
ran outside and got a couple of pictures.
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