Samvaad: A Conversation
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Monday, August 02, 2004
So recently, I participated in a voter registration drive. This time of year is key to getting folks to register since the presidential race is finally starting to heat up. The usual strategy to get citizens to register is to get them where it's easy for them to fill out the form. This time, we had a booth at a charity dance party. Before the event I didn't expect too many folks would bother with spending 5 minutes to fill out the form. And true to expectations, very few individuals came up to our booth to register. But the interesting fact was that when we went up to party-goers, a large number of them willingly put their drinks down and filled out the form. The more interesting thing was that many of them had comments about how interested they were in the election - democrats and republicans, both. It was heartening to see that people showed their interest on a night when most people probably didn't expect to see a voter registration drive. By the end of the night, our registration box was full.
Lesson learned? People are more than interested in the upcoming US Presidential elections. There's no need to "shame" them into registering. They may not show interest right up front, but simply engaging them with a question or two will get them talking, and hopefully follow through at the ballot box in November.
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