• Organizing fellows: Meeting Herbie

    I was a weird kid. While most elementary students’ heroes were the red Power Ranger or Snow White, mine were Hillary Clinton and Barney Frank. So it came as no surprise that I am spending the summer before my freshman year of college working for the Obama campaign. Forgetting my friends, family, and social life, I have more or less moved into the Bethlehem OFA office, spending 9-12 hours a day performing my fellowship duties—and my only regret is that I cannot do more. I can honestly say this has been the greatest experience of my life.

    Starting in February I have learned how to run official campaign events and registered hundreds of new voters (and fixed many broken printers). Recently, I’ve visited a number of nursing homes to get seniors registered to vote. I have found that a lot of people, when they have to move into assisted living, do not re-register at their new address. At one of my visits, I met a 97-year-old World War II veteran (and self-described “lady-killer”) named Herbie. After hearing some stories from his youth, Herbie told me that he wants to have a voice in the election, but was concerned that new ID laws in my state could keep him away from the polls.

    We spent a while talking about how the law affects him, especially since he’s bedridden and cannot easily get a new ID at the DMV. As it turns out, an unexpired ID card issued by a care facility or assisted living center is an acceptable form of ID in Pennsylvania. Herbie will be able to cast his vote this fall. It’s these kind of experiences that keep me going—and remind me how important my job is as an organizing fellow in this campaign.

    Learn more about voting laws in your state at GottaVote.org.

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