What Did Mike McGinn's "Legendary" Last-Minute Get-Out-the-Vote Effort Actually Accomplish?

Copyright Jeff Romeo Photography
Did this guy just become mayor thanks to a little hustle?
The cliche every vote counts is just that: a cliche. But in light of the ever-shrinking gap between mayoral candidates Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan (at last count, 462 votes in McGinn's favor) it seems this truism is truer than ever.

Yesterday, PubliCola referred to McGinn's last-minute get-out-the-vote effort as "legendary." Political nerds can be excused the hyperbole (as a species, they tend to lose all measure of gravity around this time of year). But it's worth asking: Just what did McGinn's "legendary" effort look like? And what did it accomplish?

As Vernal Coleman reported Tuesday night, shortly after the first set of election results were announced McGinn made a short speech around 8:15 at Capitol Hill's The War Room. As soon as he'd left the stage, McGinn's field coordinator Derek Farmer replaced his boss and made a plea for volunteers.

Over the next few hours, McGinn supporters manned call sheets and cell phones, checking up on undecideds and encouraging anyone who hadn't already dropped off their ballots to meet other volunteers posted outside of QFCs throughout the city. From those outposts, a campaign member guesses that McGinn picked up an extra 200 ballots (with each ballot, we can safely assume, representing a vote in his favor) which they then took to the SeaTac post office, in some cases just narrowly missing the midnight deadline.

200 may not seem like a big number. But in an election where every vote gets counted (and possibly re-counted) it could spell the difference between a new gig and unemployment.

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