During an election season, there are a lot of things that supporters can do for their candidates. Give money, of course. Distribute literature door-to-door. Stuff envelopes, fold letters, glue stamps, run to the Post Office. Answer phones. But perhaps the most unpopular job, and one that few people enjoy, is phone canvassing.
There you sit with your cell phone in hand, in a cramped office with other callers, looking at a list printed in 8-point type. Most often, your call will be answered by a machine. When a real live person does pick up, you will get either (a) someone nice; (b) someone rude; or (c) someone who hangs up on you.
After several phone canvassing sessions for a candidate for state representative, I’ve discovered that there is another option. With a little bit of luck, you may actually call (d) someone funny.
Not that everyone in this category intends to be funny; some are simply ludicrous. Following are some responses to calls asking for support for my Democratic state senator:
“Yeah, well, I’ll vote for her. I like her hair better.”
Voter: “I’m so sorry, I’m a Republican.”
Canvasser: “I’m so sorry, too.”
From an answering machine: “Leave a message and I’ll call you back…unless you are a Republican.”
“Oh. I’m voting for Claire McCaskill.” (Right party; wrong race)
“Don’t you know that adults don’t care about this stuff?”
And this, my personal favorite and candidate for the most appalling response. The phone was answered by a prominent and wealthy woman, whose name would be immediately recognized in the community.
“Oh, my husband handles all our votes. You know, he owns XXXXX” (well-known company with local headquarters).
On a personal note: I’m against all the current efforts to implement Voter ID laws. But I might re-think a Voter IQ effort.