"Tomorrow is Election Day"

By Geraldine Sealey
November 3, 2004 9:00AM (UTC)
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America Coming Together has done some impressive work with get-out-the-vote efforts, spending millions of dollars and sending countless canvassers to swing states to help elect John Kerry. But today, ACT appears to have made one pretty pathetic boo-boo in Pennsylvania.

Eileen Harris of Philadelphia reports to War Room that she got an ACT-generated phone call at about 9:30 ET this morning, and the voice was none other than Bill Clinton's, telling her to vote -- tomorrow. That's right. Tomorrow. The call, which War Room listened to with our very own ears, went something like: "I'm Bill Clinton. I'm calling to remind you that tomorrow is Election Day. The last four years have been hard on the middle-class. Tomorrow we have a chance to change all that."


Harris, horrified and annoyed that she might have received the call from some dirty trickster intent on misleading her away from the polls today, called ACT to ask what was up. ACT was identified in the Clinton message as the source of the call. A few hours later, ACT called Harris back and said they were aware of the problem and were trying to rectify it.

When Harris got home from work, she had four new phone messages from ACT reminding her that today was indeed Election Day. Did ACT do any damage in Philly with their initial flawed robo-calls? Hard to tell. It's true that with this being a historic election and all, most people probably know what day it is. But then again, with an election this close, it's a big risk to take. Or as Harris put it, "It seemed like a rather enormous gaffe for someone working to get out the vote for the Democrats." Too true. And whoever was behind the Clinton call will be relieved to see that despite their handiwork, Pennsylvania stayed blue.

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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