It seems like this week leading up to the election really took a toll on me. For the first time in my life, I volunteered for a campaign. I don’t like talking to strangers, so my work was behind the scenes, doing data entry. (I was one of those Girl Scouts who only ever sold the required minimum cookies and calendars and then only to family members!) I found the data they track to be pretty interesting. I didn’t start volunteering until late in the game, so it was all about getting out early voters.
But it wasn’t all voters that were being canvassed. When you register to vote and designate a particular party affiliation, your voter information is available to that party. The focus of our canvas was voters who were affiliated with our party, but whose voting history was spotty – meaning they didn’t vote in every election. Because I live in an early voting state, we were trying to get these people not only to vote, but to vote early so as to up the initial polling numbers.
Every day we would get new lists of people to canvas. Once you voted, your name dropped off the list. We don’t know who you voted for, just that you voted. Once the list of people was exhausted, we would start the list again. Therefore some people could and would be visited multiple times. Naturally some people being canvassed didn’t mind this, and some did. I was there when someone came in and told about being asked to leave a person’s property while the person had a rifle resting on their shoulder! And some people who were doing the canvassing also didn’t like this. One afternoon/evening 5 people quit because they didn’t think it was ok to be visiting people multiple times.
So it was hectic and noisy and I was only working for a neighborhood team in one town. I can’t imagine how things must be on a bigger playing field. Although NC was one of the states that was up for grabs, so probably more was going on than might normally be. But it was hectic and noisy and intense.
And then on election night, as I was watching the election coverage, my stomach was doing flip -flops. With every prediction for or against my candidate, my stomach twisted tighter. Every so often I had to turn it off just to keep myself from getting too uptight! At the end of the night, with pretty solid projections in, when I was finally able to go to bed, I was exhausted. I think many election workers and voters across the country felt the same way. This election has been emotionally charged and draining. And I’m very glad it will 4 years before another one!
For all of you who voted, THANK YOU!
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