Northwest Indiana Volunteers Got the Vote Out

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Barack Obama squeaked out an extraordinary electoral victory in Indiana, a state that went red by more than 20 points in 2004 and hasn’t given the nod to a Democratic presidential contender since 1964.

I spent some time Tuesday morning observing the get out the vote effort at the Obama campaign’s office in Schererville, Indiana, in the northwest corner of the state. From what I saw there and at a nearby poll, I’d say the president-elect owes his narrow win in large part to a remarkable volunteer army that gave their time, cell-phone minutes, gas money, and shoe leather to his cause.

Major props to Obama volunteers who helped get people to the polls and kept them there in Indiana and across the country. Some of their small but important efforts on Election Day included:

Using their own cell phones to plow through scads of call sheets for hours on end.

Carting sandwiches, donuts, water, and chips to voters waiting in line at the polls. Stick it out people! We’ll give you a donut! (But can’t tell you who the donut’s from while you stand in line.)

Holding voters’ places in line if they had to step out to move their car, which was illegally parked because polling lots were full. (Didn’t witness this, but it was how campaign staffers said they were dealing with a report that police were threatening to tow and ticket cars at one polling place.)

Making a 30 to 45-minute drive from Chicago, where Obama supporters felt their help wasn’t needed, to knock on Hoosier doors and pepper neighborhoods with campaign literature.

Image: An Obama volunteer delivers sandwiches to a nearby polling place.

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