Project Blog

Howard and Kumar Do Voter Registration

Aug 15, 2008

On Wednesday we headed for Cincinnati‚Äôs Laborers Local 265, where democratic party chairman Howard Dean and actor Kal Penn would be arriving to fire up a crowd of over 100 volunteers to go out into the community and register voters. On the road down from Columbus, I looked over into the next lane to find that we were driving alongside John McCain’s Straight Talk Express. Rob dissuaded me from giving a choice hand gesture, convincing me that we are ambassadors of our project, and therefore, of hope and good will. He did, however, feel it appropriate to cruise in the lane ahead of the tour bus, long enough for it’s passenger to get a good look at our Obama bumper sticker.

We arrived at the Union Hall to find the “advanced team” setting up a podium in the parking lot, were the Register For Change Bus would deliver Dean and Penn a few hours later. We finagled a power source and got to work, setting up in a couple of parking spaces to the side of the action. Once people started rolling in for the event we had a pretty steady stream of subjects to photograph, and with the Change Bus running late we quickly became the main attraction. When the bus finally showed up, several local organizers warmed up the crowd before introducing Kal Pen, who described his opportunity to work full-time for the Obama campaign during the Hollywood writer’s strike last Fall. Howard Dean then took the mike, and delivered the Obama platform and an impassioned plea for increased involvement in Cincinnati’s inner city.

By the end of the rally we realized just how lucky we were that the key note speakers had arrived late. Because the crowd had been so fired up to get out there and register voters, many of those who had been standing patently in line to be photographed before, never returned to pose for us! But in truth, their absence in our work speaks far better to these volunteer’s enthusiasm and dedication than any photo could ever capture!

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