Few months ago I criticized Aerovotar.com‘s initiative to charter a bunch of jetliners to take voters to New Orleans from Miami. I thought it sounded too elitesque given the outrageous costs of operating aircraft compared to the few people each can carry. The other discouraging aspect was that donating money to their foundation -disregarding the amount- did not guarantee a seat in the plane, which meant that if you are a limited-resources guy like myself, you were going to optimize any disbursement by dedicating it to your personal vote.
But a week away from the elections it is clear Aerovotar’s achievements are nothing short of remarkable and admirable. Two guys in their early thirties are responsible for the initiative which started with a perfectly setup web-page, and lots of public relations mixed with intelligent marketing. According to the directors, Venezuelans were not the only to donate; americans also joined the fray.
The result to this day: more than $330,000 in donations and about 1,000 voters being transported to New Orleans on chartered planes. Expecting a maximum of 10,000 Miami consulate voters out of close to the 20,000 registered (my own rule of thumb) that means they would be transporting at least 10% of them.
So feeling a bit stupid, I take back my criticism. Expense-wise I realize that flying back and forth on the same day is efficient to the point it would cost the same to take a greyhound bus for the round-trip plus one night in a decent hotel room. On the other hand, Aerovotar.com was never meant for guys like me. It is intended for people who either do not count with the resources nor physicial capacity to travel to New Orleans and those on the other side of the balance who are willing to donate the money for the sake of the cause.