By Eli Potts
I had the unique opportunity to work for SouthForward's state affiliate Oklahoma Forward as a Canvass Team Leader during the 2014 election cycle. In a Red State, working for a Democrat can seem hopeless. However, knocking doors in support of Claudia Griffith for the Oklahoma House of Representatives in Cleveland County was a gratifying and rewarding experience.
As canvassers it was clearly explained to us that SouthForward was focusing on Democratic and Independent minded voters who weren't always reliable voters and that if we could get them to vote we would be helping to expand the electorate. Our canvass team knocked on 1,213 doors in the three weeks leading up to the election and I know we made a difference. SouthForward was able to work in the more rural areas of the district, with a simple message... If you vote, you win.
Many of the voters in the more rural areas of the district told us they hadn't been contacted by either campaign. My fellow canvassers and I were even thanked by the people we visited for taking the time to knock on their door and give them information about the Democratic candidate. SouthForward's canvassers played a big part in helping to motivate these voters and we did what we could to make sure they knew Claudia would work for them. Our canvassing efforts added to a layered approach with the targeted voters as they also received mail and phone calls from SouthForward. Our direct, personal contact made a tremendous impact with the voters. We now know that 64% of our targeted voters turned out and voted on Election Day.
We were able to celebrate with Claudia, the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus, and the people of House District 45 on election night by defeating the incumbent Republican legislator. SouthForward made a difference in this election, and I look forward to seeing Representative Claudia Griffith do great things for Cleveland County, Oklahoma.