Some people are talkers, they love to chat about everything from the weather to government to the history of Olathe. I’m happy to oblige, because I learn a lot from them.
Others are task-oriented. When they figure out that I’m looking for their signature, they snatch my clipboard, hastily scrawl their name, and hand it back so they can get back to whatever it was they were doing. That’s fine with me, too.
A small minority of people are suspicious. I’ve met six people like this out of the 140-ish so far.
They’ll ask me why I’m doing this, and then ask me again to say what I’m running for, and then ask to read over my petition carefully. That makes sense, I suppose. It’s always a good idea to know what you’re signing.
They’ll ask how I got into this and perhaps ask about what the State Legislature actually does. These conversations can go on for 10 or 15 minutes. At the end, when I ask point blank if they’ll sign my petition, they tell me that they’d rather not sign anything.
“Is it because we’re different on some issue?” I ask. “No,” they tell me. “I’d just rather not sign.” I thank them anyway and move on. I used to think that it was because they didn’t like me or felt otherwise, but I now see that some people just have a very strong aversion to signing things.