Voter drive a rewarding experience

Published 9:03 pm Friday, October 17, 2008

I’m rather new to Virginia and this area, so I wasn’t quite sure how the people would receive me as I visited the different areas here.

Boy, was I surprised! I have met some of the nicest and most gracious people in my travels through the different cities I’ve visited here.

I’ve traveled through parts of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Chuckatuck, Smithfield, Franklin and Suffolk in an attempt to get people registered to vote this November.

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I went into areas that I was told were too dangerous and would be wasting my time, because, as one man said, “Those kind of people don’t care.” Well, that’s not the way I looked at it. They have rights, also.

These areas consisted of middle- to low-income trailer parks, single-family homes and Section 8 apartments and homes.

At first, I was slightly taken aback by the responses I received. When the people found out what I was there for, they began to call or go and get their family members and friends to register.

Quite a large number of the people doing this were those who have been convicted of felonies. Though they can’t vote this time, this was their way of helping.

I must say that I am very proud to have met and talked with hundreds of people in the last four weeks. Some have agreed and others disagree, but I still respect both views.

I would like to say thank you to all of the apartment managers, shop owners and friends who have helped me in this task. A special thanks to the owners of Suffolk’s Raceway gas station on Route 58.

Again, thank you all very much. I was able to register more than 300 people.

Now, please, get out and vote.

Wally Cotton