When I told Portsmouth voters that I was canvassing on behalf of Democrats, they were eager to talk. Recent Supreme Court decisions related to abortion and the EPA had left them reeling. They were deeply troubled by mass shootings, the climate crisis, and Republicans’ lies about election security. As they talked, I noted their concerns, info that candidates will use for messaging. (It was easy with the MiniVAN phone app, which automates the canvassing process.)
Some of the people I met were registered Democrats, and others were unenrolled. Happily, all were predisposed to vote for Pappas, Hassan, and other Democrats. I was relieved I didn’t need to convince anyone to vote Democrat.
So had I wasted my time? I think not!
I collected valuable input. I helped identify people that the local group, Organize New Hampshire, will target for their get-out-the-vote campaigns.
Equally important, I made personal connections with Granite Staters on behalf of the Democratic Party. These individuals were surprised and touched that a canvasser for Pappas, Hassan, and the Democratic Party wanted to hear their concerns, really listened to what they had to say, and actually took notes.
I hope these honest conversations about voters’ fears and dreams for the country reinforced their desire to vote. I hope they will talk with friends and impress upon them how crucial it is to participate in the upcoming election; I gave each person campaign literature to pass on.
The other benefit was for me
By the end of the morning, I felt more optimistic about our country’s future. It was uplifting to spend time talking with people who care about racial, economic, and environmental justice. So I’ll be back canvassing on July 30. I hope to see you in New Hampshire!
Gretchen Adams is a Swing Blue Alliance volunteer and retired special education teacher.