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SIGN WAVING IS ALL THAT’S LEFT

November 6th, 2006 by Mike Vasilinda

sign-wavers.mp3

The speeches have all been given, the television spots purchased. And now there’s only one thing left to do, so candidates across the state will be on street corners doing it until the end.

Candidates and their supporters will be out in force on every major street corner in the state until the polls close. Anthony Viegbesie hopes his sign waving will persuade a last minute undecided voter.

“It does make a difference to some voters… but not to all voters.”

For candidates like Debbie Lightsey, the street presence is instant feedback.

“We get the V for Victory. Occasionally, we get one of these (thumbs down) but it’s all very personal.”

And one Lightsey campaign worker got more feedback than she expected.

“One of my volunteers was mooned. That’s the funniest thing that happened. I missed it of course. You’d think it was the 70’s again.”

For many candidates, waving a sign is just a last act of desperation. But experts like Lance Dehaven Smith from Florida State University say that waving… along with yard signs… can really make a difference.

“Research has demonstrated that as the election approaches, people are actually looking to see who they think is going to win. They don’t want to back a loser. And so, if they see a lot of signs being held for somebody or people walking the streets to encourage people to vote for them, they’re inclined to think this person might win and that makes them more likely to vote for them.”

So honk if you know the candidate, but it’s probably a good idea to keep your drawers on if you don’t like them.

The Department of Transportation prohibits the posting of campaign signs on state property along public roads and highways… but that rule doesn’t apply if there’s a live person holding the sign.

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