Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Yes We Can"

Okay, so I worked the polls yesterday and it wasn't as bad as I expected. I didn't get any sleep Monday night because I was so nervous about Tuesday and making a mistake or doing something wrong.

I ended up getting up at 4:45am and got into the shower. I had to get dressed and then eat breakfast, and pack any/all food that I was going to eat all day. We were told that there wouldn't be a lot of time to eat and relax, so to pack lightly. I did.

I arrived at the precinct at 5:45 and there were people already lined up outside the door. Our polls don't open until 6:30 here in NC, so they had quite some time (in the rain, I must add) outside before being allowed inside to vote.

There wasn't a lot to do inside because we had set everything up Monday night (I went after class). I was assigned to work at the Ballot Table. I was a little nervous because it's a pretty important station, but I had time to reread my manual and familiarize myself with the procedures for the table. We were told we'd be rotating throughout the day, so anyone who had a station that they didn't like, would have the chance to move. That didn't happen. I worked the Ballot Table the whole day.

I really liked being the person to give the ballot and tell people, "Thanks for voting." We had more than 640 people (648 to be exact) at my location. The longest line that anyone had was from 6:30a-7:00a and it was like 10 minutes long from arrival to departure. Not bad at all.

My mom and dad had to wait for more than an hour in Michigan to vote. I think because we had early voting here in NC, it REALLY helped with the lines and the turnout. My precinct had more than 80% of the people registered come and vote (either early or yesterday).

Anyway, I got home late (9:00p) and right away called my dad and told him about my adventures as an elections official. LOL. Then Steve and I watched television. I stayed up until 10:57 and then I couldn't stay up one minute longer. Little did I know what was about to take place at 11:00! ONLY THREE MORE MINUTES LONGER!!!

This morning I got up at 6:30 and headed downstairs to watch the news from 10:57pm (last night)-5am (this morning). I had DVR'd it anticipating that I'd be zonked before 11:00. I am glad I waited until this morning to watch because of a few reasons. A) I ended up watching from 6:30-9:00 this morning and would NOT have been able to stay awake that long last night-- yet I would have made myself stay up to watch. B) I was alone in the comfort of my home able to cry and cry and cry. :)

I can't even put words to how touched I was watching the events unfold. Pride? Disbelief? Lucky? Blessed? I don't know... but it was absolutely amazing to watch things change at 11:00. The reactions of the students at Spielman College, the crowd at Grant Park in Chicago, the people in Times Square... all just moved me to tears. Listening to a black commentator say that throughout his entire life, he NEVER thought he'd live to see a black man be elected as President. He was crying, I was crying, Jessie Jackson and Oprah were crying. It was just very moving.

I know there are a LOT of people out there angry and disappointed that "America got it wrong," with Obama being elected. Well, now you know how I have felt for the last eight years. Only to be able to say, "I knew it..."

I am excited for the changes that are happening and I am thankful to be alive and filled with so much energy and excitement over something so historic.

Enough from me... I could go on and on but I'll spare you.