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I punch in the number. I look at the voter info one more time: Janet, 58-year-old female, registered with no political party. I don’t want to call Janet. I’m scared. I can feel my heart beating a little bit faster, and my breath a bit shallower and tighter. I silently rehearse the simple beginning of my script: “Hi, this is Lloyd. Have I reached Janet?” I gather my courage and take the plunge by pressing the call button on the screen of my phone. “The person you are calling is not available. Please leave a message.”

On to the next…

Lloyd Knox is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Davis.

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