Tag Archives: Campaigning

Early voting plays a more important role for citizens and campaigns

By Karen Chan

More early votes are expected in this election as more people take advantage of the practice and campaigners talk it up.

Voters line up outside Judiciary Square in Washington to cast their ballots early.

Early voting, which was first offered in 1992, allows people in 32 states and Washington DC to cast their ballots by November 4. Election day is November 6 this year. The practice has become more popular in the last decade. The percentage of votes that come in early increased from 7% in 1992 to 30% in 2008, according to the latest statistics.

“Early voting is more and more important because an increasing number of states is allowing people to vote earlier. It is estimated that one third of voters cast their ballots before election day,” says William Galston, a former policy advisor to former president Bill Clinton.

Recently, the Republican Party urged members of the military to vote in advance, but Galston said the call to vote early would not matter much.

“Military people who have a sense of duty will vote anyway, the only question is when,” Galston said.

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Portrait of a young campaigner

By Karen Chan and Wendy Chan

What is the image that comes to mind when you think of young political campaigners. Willful, impatient or quick to come to a decision? Or a combination of all of the above?

David Elizondo, 23, says he was not hasty when he got involved in politics.

David Elizondo’s iPhone case shows his support for Obama.

“I made my own decision by observing and learning,” said Elizondo, who started to volunteer for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in late October in Washington D.C.

He said he had been following the debates and the media coverage and decided to campaign for the Democrat. “In fact, my parents are Republicans,” he added.

This is his first time voting. Four years ago Elizondo did not vote because he felt like he wasn’t familiar with what was going on that time.

This is also the first time that the native Texan (he moved to D.C. recently) volunteered for the Obama campaign. So what will he be doing?

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Young Obama campaigner goes the distance

By Wendy Chan

David Elizondo believes Barack Obama will protect the rights of Americans.

Meet David Elizondo. On this rainy and gray Sunday in Washington D.C. before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, Elizondo sits at Ben’s Chili Bowl a local restaurant famous for their celebrity customers including Hillary Rodham Clinton, comedian Bill Cosby and Obama supporters.

Elizondo, 23, is one of the many young political activists in Washington who is working hard to get Barack Obama reelected as President of the U.S.

In addition to volunteering at Obama’s campaign office here in Washington D.C. he said he will help the Obama campaign in Ohio, a key swing state that is up for grabs for the Democrats or Republicans.

Being a campaign volunteer is a lot of work and is time-consuming. This is his first time volunteering directly for the Obama campaign. However, he works at the Human Rights Campaign and he together with other volunteers endorse political candidates. They have endorsed Obama for this election so a lot of the work they do and money they raise goes to Obama.

“Obama’s reelection would be the greatest reward for me. He supports gay rights including marriage equality and equal rights in the workplace,” he said. “I think he is better than [Republican candidate] Mitt Romney because he actually makes the difference and works for those rights.”

Elizondo came from Houston, TX. He went to Texas A&M University and came to DC to work for the Human Rights Campaign and to get out of Texas for a while. His family are Republicans. Four years ago, Elizondo said he did not vote in the 2008 presidential election because he thought he was not mature nor educated enough. Now he has university education.

Fast forward to 2012, as a campaign volunteer, Elizondo helps voters go through a sometimes complicated process of registering and casting their ballots. He even helps drive some people to the polls so they can vote.

“I also knock on people’s doors and explain why they should vote for Obama,” he said.

“Some people do not have transportation, so we may offer to drive them to the polls,” he said. “We just want people to get out and vote, and I believe it definitely makes a difference.”