The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 5, 2012

Volunteers make final push before the election

OTTUMWA — Regardless of political party, diehard supporters were hurrying to knock on one last door or make one extra phone call this weekend. Sometimes, the two efforts collided.

Trudy Caviness was working to update the call list on her home computer so volunteers wouldn’t call people who had taken out absentee ballots.

“I’ll bet I’ve gotten 10 phone calls today,” said Caviness, longtime chair of the Wapello County Republican Party.

Around the same time, husband and wife Democratic supporters John and Jane Cardenzana were on East Main Street. They had just gone to the last door on their Saturday list.

As they walked down the sidewalk, John’s cell phone rang.

“Hello? Thank you, no. I’ve already voted.”

Those in the know, like Republican volunteer David MacKenzie, say the volunteer effort will go right up to “the last minute.” He and his wife Judy participated as supporters in the 2008 election. He said the past week has been busier than previous weeks, but that’s normal.

At Democratic headquarters, that estimate was supported by the math.

“We made as many phone calls today as we did all last week,” said volunteer Melinda Quinn on Saturday.

That was in just a few hours; most of their callers left headquarters by 3 p.m.

In case residents wonder, organizers from both parties say they try not to call people who have already voted.

Another similarity between the two parties: This weekend, most of the effort was focused on telling people where and when to vote, not struggling to convince residents who they should vote for.

“With all the media, I think everyone knows about the election,” said Caviness. “The thing that we find is when [people are] newly registered voters, we may [need] to tell them where their polling places are, and what the hours are for voting.”

 Leaders in both parties, at least in Wapello County, have each had some voters tell them they’ll be glad when the election is over. Telephone volunteers from both parties have also heard from people who are a little less diplomatic in expressing their displeasure at receiving another political phone call.

MacKenzie and his wife contact voters both by knocking on doors and making phone calls. David said he does not get offended when people are impatient or frustrated, especially since he knows where they’re coming from.

“We get the same phone calls — and we get tired of them ourselves,” he said. “But most people, even if they’re not for your candidate ... are usually very polite.”

And yes, he said, there are those who get mad about phone calls, but David said he and his wife don’t get discouraged.

“You’ve got to realize not everybody is for your candidate. We just believe in our candidate and do everything we can to help him win,” the Republican volunteer said.

Democratic supporter Mary Ann Reiter said one of the things that has impressed her about the president’s supporters is their diverse, inclusive nature.

A woman in her 80s who felt she couldn’t volunteer ended up baking and frosting a cake to put out at Democratic headquarters.

Reiter said they had very young and older supporters making calls.

Quinn was thrilled by their dedication.

“They hardly took any breaks,” Quinn said. “I had to make them take a break.”

David MacKenzie said that kind of enthusiasm is vital amongst his fellow Republicans, too. And what makes the political system in America better than that in many nations.

“That’s what makes it work ... the people at the ground level,” he said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • The Art of Kong OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014

  • Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seasonal forecast Cool summer leading to cool fall? OTTUMWA — By late July, the average daytime high temperature starts to drop. What is normally the hottest part of the year is over. Averages are still in the mid-80s, and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see days in even the upper 90s.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grant helps Hills keep students on track OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014

  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

  • Alternate juror could not have convicted Techel based on evidence DAVENPORT — An alternate juror who was dismissed before Seth Techel, 23, of Agency was convicted of killing his wife and the non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy says the verdict could have been different if she had been in deliberations.D

    July 25, 2014

  • Overcome testing fear, get a good job OTTUMWA — It's not who you know, it's what you know. That's what City leaders say about getting a good paying job in Ottumwa. "It seems like in the last year we've had a real reduction in the number of individuals who've applied," said Joni Keith, hu

    July 25, 2014

  • Water Pollution Control Facility gets OK to upgrade OTTUMWA — An emergency Ottumwa City Council meeting resulted in spending $140,583 for the Water Pollution Control Facility. Friday afternoon, council members listened intently as Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Kam Reeves told

    July 25, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook