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Heavy-handed Pollsters at Recent PA Election

Original post made by Mystified Voter, Duveneck/St. Francis, on Nov 12, 2007

Just a question to anyone out there who may have experienced the following scenario on November 8....As you read, keep in mind I'm 45 years old and have voted in every election since I turned 18, except this one.

At about 6:30pm one of the precinct workers telephoned my home, asking for me. When I replied yes, this is her, I was asked if I had voted yet today. I replied "No, but thank you for the call" and hung up. Those calls have happened before, and I never thought much about them. As for my not voting last Tuesday, I had been ill for about a month and hadn't be able to research the issues/candidates. As such, I preferred not to vote rather than be an uninformed voter.

To my astonishment, about 7:30pm a woman from the local precinct (her name badge said Miki) rang my doorbell and asked me if I had voted yet. I said again, "No, I've actually been ill and I'm not voting tonight", and closed my door.

I'm sorry, but I can understand offering seniors a ride to the polls, but this knock on my door felt like an extreme and intrusive measure, given the fact that I had already responded to a telephone call. Isn't there some polling/precinct rule against this?

Comments (7)

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Posted by Voter
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2007 at 5:47 am

Boy, do you have my sympathy. I once sat on one of those phone banks calling people to get out and vote and swore I would never do it again. They are rudely intrusive. Anyone running for Office should take note and forego the phone bank scenario.

Incidentally, in my case it was a real estate company who loaned us the offices and the phones. I wonder which candidate's committee called you. It was probably facilitated by a local real estate company.

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 13, 2007 at 1:09 pm

I think this was the union effort behind one or more city council candidates; I got a call from someone to ask if I had voted (I had!) but I don't think it's any of their business either way, however they mentioned one candidate they were supporting

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Posted by yet another parent
a resident of Escondido School
on Nov 13, 2007 at 1:17 pm

They were probably from the Yeh/Espinosa campaign, not precinct workers. I also received two calls that evening. The first one I answered briefly. The second one -- different caller but same script -- identified who they were calling on behalf of when I pressed them for information.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 13, 2007 at 2:39 pm

This reminds me of a time, many moons ago when I was young and single, and a local election hinged on one important local issue. The candidate I supported was supported by a contingent of locals who had canvessed door to door on his behalf on the weeks coming up to the election. I was one of many volunteers who went back to those homes that had promised to vote to him and drive the residents to the polling places. It was a lot of fun as well as hard work and in this case the rides were gratefully accepted. Our candidate lost by just a few votes and it was a life long lesson of how to make the system work and that in local elections, every single vote does count. I don't think any of us were brash or rude, we certainly didn't get the complaints. But we learned a lot about politics that night.

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Posted by trudy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 13, 2007 at 3:44 pm

I am sure it was not a precinct worker. It was someone from a political campaign. Precinct workers do not do this, I can assure you of that.

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Posted by Mandy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 13, 2007 at 7:01 pm

I think there was a discussion about union support of yeh and espinosa a while back. Does anyone know what the unions are up to with such heavy (and apparently unprecidented) support of PA City Council candidates? I don't like it...seems too reminincent of big city machine politics to me.

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Posted by Election Officer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 24, 2007 at 10:34 pm

We election Officers do not leave our posts to go into the neighborhoods for any purpose. We are not allowed to have opinions of any kind while on duty on whether you vote or not and which candidate you are interrested in.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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