I spent a couple hours door knocking yesterday in the neighborhood near Plymouth and Newton North, behind the 4th Precinct police station. About a third of the houses were boarded up, some were in disrepair, and a few were beautifully maintained. It’s an economically diverse neighborhood, but 99 percent DFL. According to our organizer, there were only three houses identified as Republican in the four blocks we were assigned. It also historically has the lowest voter turnout in the state.
Most people I talked to were planning to vote or had already. There were a couple of spots that I doubt sent anyone to the polls.
At one of those houses three Hmong children, I guess ages 3, 4 and 5, came to the door. I asked if anyone at home was old enough to vote. They looked at me as though I didn’t speak their language, which I didn’t.
I tried a different tack. “Who is taking care of you?”
“Do you want my sister?” the older boy responded.
Good, I thought. An older sister was babysitting and I could leave the literature with her.
The boy was gone a few minutes then returned with an infant who looked about six weeks old, and gave her to me.
I had to convince him I didn’t want to take the baby before a woman who appeared to be his grandmother came to the door.
A block or so away I came across a 30-something man riding in an electronic scooter.
“Are you going to vote?” I asked.
“No, but Obama is the man.”
“He won’t get elected if you don’t vote for him,” I replied.
“Can’t,” he said.
“Why not?” I asked, thinking that the polling places are handicapped accessible.
“I did prison time. Got six felony convictions.”
“Oh, well, then,” I said. “Tell your friends to vote.”