TURN OUT ALREADY!...

TURN OUT ALREADY! I walked over to the Philadelphia DNC headquarters at Broad and Walnut just now, hoping to tap into the voter vibe. The Center City streets were packed with people on their way to lunch, but I didn�t see a single flier or button. The office itself was deserted save for one worker, who was talking on the phone in the back room while he chain-smoked cigarettes. He looked like a union stalwart in his thick denim shirt hovering over the polling locations page in the newspaper; I imagined him to be a big fan of Congressman Bob Brady, who rose to prominence through the carpenters� and teachers� union and who now represents Pennsylvania�s 1st District. When he got off the phone, he gave me a hoarse laugh when I asked if anyone else was coming in to volunteer. �I�m the only one here today answering phones,� he said. �About a hundred people been calling; you�d be surprised how many don�t know where to go even though they got their cards.�

My own polling place at a nearby medical center was equally empty. A volunteer who�d been there all morning proudly told me they�ve had twice as many voters as during the primary. I was impressed until he added that in the primary they only had about sixty voters. I know voter turnout today is going to be lower than during a presidential election (though it is predicted to be higher than normal for a midterm), but this is ridiculous.

--Zack Pelta-Heller

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