Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Primary Report - AM

Ah, the nitty-gritty of another Election Day - I really do enjoy this...

After midnight I was criss-crossing Toledo delivering flyers to people who'll be standing at the polls today - Slater Road, Cheltenham, Rockridge, Northwood, Tamarack - got home for just a few hours of shut-eye. Signs up at the polls, pollworkers across Toledo, and a supportive phone call from my mom got me moving.

By dawn I was standing at my polling place, Church of the Holy Cross, at Eastgate & Glendale. Initially light turnout, by 10 I'd say it had gotten better.

My pitch is pretty simple "Name's Szollosi, running for Council, appreciate your consideration." Some shake hands, some don't, some take my flyer, some don't, some smile, and some don't. I must of had 25 people say they'd support me, and then one guy jumps out of his minivan, I'd say about 55, wearing a Marines cap with what looked like an NRA cap on his dash, and approached me only to say - "Don't even say it, you'd be the last person I'd vote for!" And he went on the rail about my father & grandfather! - My only response: a hearty "SEMPER FI to you too."

With that, I noticed a skin & bones German Sheperd hovering around the parking lot, with a collar. For the next half hour or so it was the dog, Szollosi, and intermittent voters. They say that if in your in politics, and you want a friend, get a dog. So "Cocoa" and I started to bond a little bit after the angry Marine.

In about an hour, a very nice woman looked at the dog's tag and decided she should take it home. We looked up the street on a map, Cocoa jumped into her car, and I was alone again. One woman walked out of the church and said in 20 years I was the first candidate she'd seen standing at Holy Cross. I liked that.

It's nice to stand at your own precinct and meet folks you've waved at while driving through the neighborhood all summer - but in the afternoon I'll probably be heading north.

Around 9:30am a gentlemen pulled up in a flawless, creme leather Lincoln Town Car, his intitials on his license plates. We shook hands and he pledged me his vote. A couple minutes later he walked out, chagrined, and announced I had in fact just lost a vote. Wha? "They won't let me vote - said I requested an absentee ballot, but I never got it, never voted yet." Here we go... "Go back in, tell them you want to vote a blue provisional ballot, federal law gives you the right to vote this morning." So he went back in. I shook some more hands. And he came back out really fuming. "They called down to the Board and told me I had to vote downtown. I'm not going downtown." 5 years after Florida and this sort of thing still happens - even in Republican precincts! He had backed his car halfway out, I grabbed my cell phone, and asked him to stop "We have election protection lawyers standing by for this sort of thing, wait a minute," I said. So he stopped. A couple minutes later, one of our Democratic attorney's pulled in with impeccable timing. The gentlemen explained his plight, saying "Carty sent me an absentee ballot application, I sent it in, but don't believe I ever got my ballot." Great, I thought, another vote for Finkbeiner. The attorney went back in with him a third time, and in a few minutes he reappeared saying, "The Board will have a clerk waiting for me on Jackson Street in front of Government Center & I'll vote in my car." According to the attorney who went in with him, the gentleman exclaimed that it must have been Carty's fault.

Soon, my wife and son came to join me. I set her up and took Lucas to preschool. Went to get some gas, granola, chocolate and powerbars for volunteers, and stopped off at Glendale-Fielbach to see Karyn McConnell Hancock and some Phil Copeland volunteers to give them some snacks.

While I was gone from Holy Cross Rob Ludeman showed up with a cameraman from WNWO-24 - always sorry to miss the press.

A hot, dry and inspiring morning. Will check back in later...

3 Comments:

Blogger historymike said...

Great post on a day on the campaign trail, Frank.

Turnout was light in my precinct, too. Only 15 voters by 8:15, and no other voters in sight.

Only 1 campaign volunteer was out; this one was for Keith Wilkowski. She said that no one was saying much. Granted, I don't say much at 8:15 either.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Tontogany Phil said...

What if it ends up in a scoreless tie?

Do they have sudden death?

8:36 PM  
Blogger billy said...

either way, would anybody even care?

hey phil - whats a 'togany boy doing on such an urban site?

10:20 AM  

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