Sunday, November 06, 2016

Houghton County Democrats volunteer hours to Get Out the Vote

Volunteers at the Houghton County Democratic Party (HCDP) headquarters in Hancock (Mich.) give up hours of their time today, Nov. 6, to participate in the Get Out the Vote effort by making phone calls to likely Democratic voters. Pictured here, from left, are Jan Burkhouse of Torch Lake Township; Judy Endsley of Calumet; Betty Gaff of Dollar Bay; and Janet Gregorich, HCDP vice chair. At right is Nick Wisti, First District Congressional Candidate Lon Johnson's campaign representative. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

By Carol MacLennan

HANCOCK -- Volunteers are at the phones and in the neighborhoods to make sure Democrats get to the polls on Tuesday. Working from this past Friday evening until Tuesday at 8 p.m, about 80 volunteers are staffing over 130 four-hour shifts to get the work done, according to Brian Hoduski, Houghton County Democratic Party chair.

"We know that the last push to get out the vote (GOTV) increases the voter turnout by one to three percent," Hoduski said.

On Sunday, Nov. 6, volunteer John Carpenter, right, reports to  Brian Hoduski, center, Houghton County Democratic Party chair, with his walk list, for the Get Out the Vote campaign. The list, explained Hoduski, identifies voters who don't often vote so volunteers can visit them with information. At left is Curtis Audette, State Rep. Scott Dianda's legislative director, who is discussing election day strategy with Hoduski. "We're just making sure there is no voter intimidation at the polls," Audette said.

In a year like this, one percent can make a big difference. The most recent poll for the First Congressional District puts Democrat Lon Jonson one percent ahead of Republican Jack Bergman in a critical race for the US House of Representatives.

The Democrats are actively calling and door-knocking for the Houghton County Commissioner contested races in County Districts 1, 2 and 5.

One volunteer at the phones noted, "We have a chance to turn around the County Commission Board this year. Our candidate for the second district, Valorie Troesch, has been going door-to-door for over a week to meet constituents."*

Despite a broken wrist, Carol MacLennan, right, author of this article, joins volunteers in the GOTV campaign. Also working at this table is Jan Burkhouse of Torch Lake Township. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Scott Dianda, State Representative for Michigan’s 110th District, has been out talking to citizens for several days on his own campaign and assisting Lon Johnson in his campaign for Congress and the local Democrats for County Commissioner seats.

*Editor's Note: Click here for our article on the Sept. 29, 2016, League of Women Voters of the Copper Country Candidate Forum for Houghton County candidates, including those in the contested races for County Commissioner. See also our article on County Commissioner Candidate Valorie Troesch's Oct. 29th "Meet and Greet" event in Franklin Township.

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