Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Monday, October 20, 2008

NBC First Read takes note

And keep an eye on South Carolina - yes, South Carolina. The historic African-American turnout appears to be happening and could make it a single-digit race there.

To flesh out some insight you have to look no further than Richland County. Last week the election commission was seeking volunteers to help input new registrations. Voter Registration in South Carolina ended October 4th and on the week ending October 18th the office was still inundated with stacks and stacks of new registrant forms that had yet to be entered into the system. And by stacks, we mean that there are still 10s of thousands of new registrations that have yet to be processed, according to one source "There are tens of thousands of unopened voter registrations sitting around right here in Columbia, SC. The local election officials simply don't have the resources to process them all" -- the county is still looking for volunteers as they stay open until 9 pm nightly to ensure folks are able to vote. Sources say that Charleston is facing the same problem!
Also it should be noted that the request of Absentee ballots was so great that folks in Richland County are still waiting for the ballot even after requesting them at the beginning of the Month.
And while Republicans rest assured of maintaining their firm grip on Presidential politics in this state this year may at least give them pause.
Earlier this month I had an opportunity to discuss the registration efforts with the Campaign for Change -- a front for the Obama Organization. This means the Obama campaign has considerably more paid staff in South Carolina than has been presented in published news reports. The staffer stated that in the primary they amassed a committed list of upwards of 20,000 volunteers who all logged at least 4 hours of service to the campaign - volunteers who have returned in the general election and are now logging hours as well as going into bordering North Carolina to volunteer with efforts there.

When asked about Registration efforts the staffer said that between the primary and September over 200,000 new voters were registered. This figure does not include those from September to October 4. Most of these new registrants also aren't available for pollsters to poll because there's a 3 week turn around between registering and availability of information to such national groups such as Gallop.
If the call for assistance in Richland County has been mirrored more or less across this state then things could look very interesting in South Carolina come November 5. Cautious Optimism is the mantra of the SCDP.

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