Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Today

I arrived at my precinct at 4:45am to find a line already formed in the lobby area. By the time we opened for voting at 6:00am, the lines were extreme. We handled an optical scan machine going down, then a touchscreen machine going down, and we processed an incredible number of voters in the first three hours the polls were open. After the morning rush, we saw a steady but manageable stream of voters. Spirits were high, as was turnout - we saw over 60% of our eligible voters come through the door today, and that doesn't include the record high number of absentee voters.

At 7:00pm, we closed the doors and began the closing process. Two hours (and a little more) later, we completed our work, calling in Democratic victories across the board that contributed to turning Virginia blue in this election. Our little precinct was jumping today, and I was so proud to be a part of it.

I came home absolutely pumped to watch the returns, and I had a feeling that perhaps I wouldn't go to bed wondering who our next President would be. Eric and I shared a bottle of Virginia wine and some dark chocolate m&m's and spent the night watching returns come through on MSNBC and Comedy Central. We opted for CNN for the President-Elect's speech in Grant Park as it was coming through in HD.

I was a bit choked up and feeling the power of the moment leading up to the speech, but that was nothing compared to the power of seeing President-Elect Obama and his family greet the crowd at Grant Park. I said to Eric, "Look at this. They don't look like us, and yet they completely look like us." As President-Elect Obama spoke, I just plain lost it. I spent nearly 17 hours today working to make this election a positive experience for thousands of voters. I, along with close to a dozen other election officers, succeeded; I know we did. I watched the fruits of that labor from my living room tonight, and I watched my dearest hopes of this campaign season edge ever closer to reality.

I have said to friends over the past several months that I fervently wanted Anna and Tessa's first conscious memory of a U.S. President to be of Barack Obama and all the promise he brings to the office. Well, here it is, and I couldn't be happier about it. It's not hyperbole to say that I feel as though the sun has begun to rise after years of dark days, and I am incredibly optimistic about my girls' future in a way I haven't been before tonight. Inspiration, perspiration...it's all there in this guy. It's time to get out there and help get it done.

But first, I'm going to get a good night's sleep. It's been one hell of a long day.

XO

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

It's 4:37am, and I'm just about to head out the door to go to my local precinct, where I will spend the next 17 or so hours. I was so worried about sleeping through my 2 alarms this morning that I kept waking up every half hour or so. But I'm pumped, ready to get this thing going at long last. I have a cooler full of snacks and drinks and an awesome husband who's going to bring me a yummy hot sandwich from Panera that may or may not still be hot when I get to eat it. I don't know what kind of break schedule I'll be on, but I'll try to send updates during the day via Twitter (lizeta).

If you haven't already, go vote.