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October 02, 2004

Swing Kids Get Nudge from Literary Community

by Ron Hogan

elliott.jpgStephen Elliott's making his way around the country this month, reading from his campaign diary, Looking Forward to It. I'll be doing my utmost best to catch him in Brooklyn on the 21st, but in the meantime--and before I start reading the book itself--I'm brushing up with some help from this online exclusive interview with Newsweek. It's got some background on Operation Ohio, Elliott's plan to organize writers who will spend Election Day calling college students in four swing states--Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Florida--and reminding them to vote.


One of the participants at the OSU event on September 28 tells me that it was woefully underattended: perhaps 75 people from a campus of 40,000 showed, which is discouraging. How is Elliott publicizing these events on the campuses in question? Sounds like he needs a street team or two because the kids don't seem to be reading Newsweek.

Posted by: cinetrix at October 3, 2004 12:55 PM

That's just not true. 330 people showed up, which was less than we thought, certainly less than the space which was big enough for 2,000, but a lot more than 75. There was great publicity, the campus newspaper, the local indi-rock station, stories in the Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and great organizers on the ground. We registered over 100 voters and got more than 200 phone numbers for our November 2nd voter reminder list. Plus a lot more people signed up online for the reminder phone call as a result of the media attention generated by the events. It's true we didn't have the attendance we wanted, but it was still pretty succesful over all. Every bit counts.

Posted by: Steve at October 3, 2004 10:13 PM
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