Well I woke up this morning and my guy didn’t win but the world didn’t come to an end. In fact, life went on. That is a testament to the American system many people take for granted. It is not a given in many countries that the day after an election will be peaceful. The peaceful transfer of power is something many nations struggle with. So, despite our differences, we should all be happy about that.
I spent Election Day as a poll watcher for the Romney campaign. It was a 13-hour day but totally worth it. I was assigned to a heavy democrat district (Hell I live in a heavily democrat area so that is no surprise.) The voter turnout in this precinct was 71% – well above the natural average, which hovers at or below the 50% remark. That in itself was very inspiring…and crazy…the amount of people we were processing an hour was unbelievable.
Even more inspiring was watching the great lengths some people took to exercise their right to vote. Some waited in line for 3 hours. Some had to curbside vote because they could not walk. Some needed translators so they could understand the ballot. But everyone one of them felt it was their duty to vote. I love that. It is such a simple thing that too many people take for granted.
Two of my favorite stories from yesterday:
A group of mentally challenged adults arrived in the afternoon to exercise their vote. One particularly individual, Jimmy, was very excited to be there. In fact, he kept shouting everything. Each of them needed the help of their caretaker to vote and explain to them what the ballot said. Jimmy took about 30 minutes to vote. After he finished he got his sticker and was leaving. He made sure to tell us all Goodbye and then he said, “I sure hope my guy wins this time!” – clearly disappointed his guy didn’t win last time. It was very cute.
We also had one voter arrive barefoot (it was 30 degrees outside) with toe rings, and piercings on his feet (probably why he was barefoot). The Democrat pollster leans over to me and says, “He is one of ours.” We had a good laugh about that!
So – overall nothing has changed. Now we have to wait and see if a different tone is struck in DC. Will they start to compromise and get things done? The problem is Obama won by larger than expected margins…I am pretty sure he is going to think he had a mandate. So, we will determine the tone shortly in the lame duck. I doubt it…but who knows…maybe we will have some heroes.