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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 19, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 42
Getting out the vote
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Getting out the vote

Washington United for Marriage aims to reach 1m pro-LGBT voters

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

On Thursday, October 18, Washington United for Marriage (WUM), the broad coalition working to Approve Referendum 74, announced a statewide push to contact one million voters and make sure they return their ballots. The group plans to reach this goal by knocking on doors and by shifting the main focus of its phone-banking efforts from persuasion to get-out-the-vote (GOTV) messaging, although WUM says it will not cease its persuasion efforts entirely.

Currently, the campaign operates over 100 phone banks across the state, seven days a week. Volunteers, whose numbers now approach 6,000, are placing more than 42,000 calls a night to undecided voters. In the past month volunteering has tripled, with more than 13,000 volunteer hours recorded by the campaign.

'Marriage has been an issue that I've been interested in for over 10 years and now it's come to fruition,' said John Wilkinson, who volunteers at the front desk of WUM's Capitol Hill Action Center. 'If I didn't do something to forward the cause I'd be embarrassed and ashamed.'

A DIFFERENT APPROACH
Sam Wilson, a WUM volunteer who recently moved to Seattle from California to be with his boyfriend, is calling his commitment to volunteer a 'second try.' Wilson phone-banked during the Prop 8 campaign and spoke to SGN about the difference between volunteering for persuasion phone banks and GOTV phone banks.

'I think there's some nervousness in regards to phone-banking, especially with the persuasion phone-banking,' said Wilson.

To Wilson, GOTV phone-banking is a lot more approachable because volunteers are talking to people who already support the issue. 'But persuasion phone-banking can be a lot more rewarding. It's always good to feel like you've changed people's minds,' Wilson told SGN.

GOTV phone banks will reach out to voters in Seattle, Shoreline, Bellingham, Bellevue, Tacoma, Langley, Yakima, Ellensburg, and the Tri-Cities.

CAN YOU SPARE A DAY?
The door-to-door effort, called 'Donate a Day for Marriage' (i.e., donate a day of your time), will headline WUM's statewide GOTV effort. Door-to-door activities will take place in neighborhoods in Seattle, Tacoma, and Spokane the next three Saturdays (October 20 and 27, and November 3).

In addition to encouraging supporters to vote, WUM has launched a 24-hour hotline to assist voters with questions about how to secure a ballot, how to fill it out, where to drop it off, and more. The toll-free number for the hotline is 1-855-564-2668. And recently, alongside coalition partners, WUM also recently helped register 50,000 new voters on college and university campuses statewide.

Together, the phone-banking and door-to-door efforts will operate out of 12 locations statewide, where, for the next three Saturdays, volunteers will work from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - all driving toward the goal of reaching one million voters. WUM's shift to GOTV tactics coincides with the mailing of ballots to voters across the state.

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Approve R-74 up by six points
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Getting out the vote
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Ballots are in the mail
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Marriage equality: A Jewish perspective
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HRC stepping up support for marriage equality
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New Miss UTOPIA crowned
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Charles Trevor Logan
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Marriage equality: good for families, good for business
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DOMA dealt another blow
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BLAG goes broke
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Bigots raid the collection plate
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Chris Kluwe 'shows' his support in OUT Magazine
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Let me count the Gays
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Seattle LGBT Commission tackles hate crimes, announces 'It Gets Better' event
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Bone(r) of contention
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BREAKING NEWS
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