Canvassing in Nevada

24 Oct

Last weekend I went to Reno, Nevada, to canvass for the Democrats.

Ready to canvass in Reno, Nevada!

Ready to canvass in Reno, Nevada!

We drove to Reno on Saturday morning, then spent the afternoon knocking on doors and talking to people, went out for a simple dinner and checked into our hotel. On Sunday morning, we drove back and made a little detour to drink coffee on the shore of Lake Tahoe. It was a fun road trip!

How does canvassing work?

As expected, we found the campaign to be well organized. After we arrived at one of the campaign headquarters in Reno, they explained to us what we were going to do. They gave us a list of addresses with names of people who lived there. Our list contained 87 addresses. It took us almost four hours to knock on all the doors! To everyone who wanted to talk to us, we asked then whether they were planning to vote for Clinton, for Catherine Cortez Masto (she could become the first Latina in the Senate) and Chip Evans (Congress). We then asked if they knew when and where they planned to vote and we explained how easy it is to do early voting in Nevada. In Reno (Washoe County), you have from Oct 22 to Nov 4th to go to any early voting location in the county, and there are many such polling stations, for example, in the library or the supermarket. Finally, if people were supportive of the Democratic candidates, we’d ask them whether they’d be interested to volunteer.

Who did we talk to?

I had never really thought of how canvassing is done, but I somehow assumed that it would consist of convincing people to vote for Clinton and not Trump. However, I had only one conversation on Saturday where I explained why I support Hillary, and Trump was hardly mentioned at all (what a relief!) Instead, we were mostly talking to people who were known to be supportive of Democrats, but who may or may not actually vote. Our main goal was therefore to encourage people to go and vote and to use the opportunity of early voting in Nevada. That’s why it was probably most important for us to be able to say: “Do you know that you can vote today in the supermarket down the road until 6PM? And tomorrow they’re open from 11 till 4.”

Would I do it again?

Yes, absolutely. It was fun (and tiring). Most people were happy to talk to us. I may have convinced a few people to go and vote and I may have encouraged someone to volunteer for the campaign. Plus, the weather was nice and I walked 5 miles. Highly recommended!

Ready to canvass in Reno, Nevada.

Ready to canvass in Reno, Nevada.

 

 

 

 

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