Sunday, October 24, 2004

Battleground state

Oregon's mail-in ballots arrived this week. Overnight, we've seen a cascade of new political ads, phone calls, and visits from earnest volunteers. Menacing wolves eye us from the TV. The chirpy DNC caller wants us to help "collect ballots." Would we like to attend a special screening of Michael Moore's movie? Or perhaps send a donation?
"The story has changed," says Doc Searls' sister, who thinks we're seeing a Bush recall effort, not unlike the Grey Davis recall. "It is not about the candidates anymore. That is just cursory coverage of their bus-embedded reporters, and equal-time sound bites...
"The story now IS the election. The election process. Not only the dangers of chaos, early-voting, registration mess-ups, the stolen signs, the various scenarios of a challenge to the results, the legalities and the larcenies.
"The real story is the engagement of the people. The passion to recall. The fear of change or the unknown. The push to get the youth out. The lack of the population's ennui amidst their fatigue from the rancor.
"The recognition that, whomever you're voting for, the stakes are too high.
"And that the prime lesson learned from 2000 is that every vote CAN count."
At our doorstep, the resolute volunteer informs us that the visits will stop when our ballots are mailed. I don't really believe her, but that's more incentive to vote already. Now, where did I put that thing? Wait, someone else at the door...
Click for Eugene, Oregon Forecast