Seniors reflect on their Election Day experience

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Seniors reflect on their Election Day experience

The Southerner

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My Election Day experience was one of excitement. This year was my first chance to cast a vote for president. My dad and I drove over the Grady in the late afternoon expecting to wait in line for God knows how long. When we arrived, we discovered there was no line. I was thrilled to find out that not only would I be able to cast my first vote, but also salvage my afternoon! After casting my vote I felt like a real part of the nation, like I had some kind of influence on where Georgia’s electoral votes would go. After I returned home I made the most of my afternoon catching up on school work and taking a trip to the gym.

There’s an excitement about election night because you know you are witnessing history no matter which candidate wins. Even the network coverage of election night is fun to watch or that could just be listening to Wolf Blitzer saying, “We have yet another huge projection in!” and the suspense builds. I spent most of the night with coverage of the election on and listening to the network personality’s talk about the same thing over and over again.  The night started to get dull rather early unfortunate when it became clear who the president would be in a landslide.

After it was confirmed that Mitt Romney had lost the election I watched him give his concession speech. I believe it was Mitt’s best speech yet. It was one of the few times I have seen a politician speak about how they are really feeling, and I was very impressed.  I am glad that I was able to officially become an active voter in the United States and salvage quite a productive afternoon.

— Sawyer Folks

My Election Day experience was a good experience. It was a tense evening that I spent with co-workers and family. I had to work, so I went to the barbershop where I work. Everyone knows that barbershops have the best conversations around. The guys in the barbershop were having an excited conversation about who they thought the next president should be. It was so interesting to sit and listen to them talk about real issues, some true and some not so true, but nevertheless issues of the country we love so much.

I enjoyed talking to the men that I work with because they actually respect my opinions during heated debates. Once the conversation elevated, it became more interesting to me. I spent an entire day treating hair and talking with clients about what they thought was in store for our country.

When work ended I returned home to homemade soup and news channels with my mother and two older sisters who were sitting on pins and needles, waiting to be extremely happy or extremely sad when the election was over.

After waiting hours on end, the election had become very close and around 10 o’clock they announced the projected winner, which was President Barack Obama. My mother was extremely happy; she jumped up and began to dance around the room (which was actually pretty embarrassing), but I respected that because I understood her happiness.

Although I feel asleep on the ending, but when I woke up I wasn’t too surprised that the winner really was President Obama. I was elated to know that although my generation hasn’t had the best of reputations, we came together and took a stand and showed the world that we have a voice and that our voice matters, not to mention that we made sure that our country is in good hands — at least for the next four years, and that was my Election Day experience.

— Talethea Wright

“Obama’s got this, I’m not even going to watch.”

That’s what my older brother said, taking his head away from the phone as he spoke to me. This was my first time voting, and I never really bought the concept of “one vote can make a change,” but all the same I was excited to have a recognized opinion. I may not be old enough to make the decision of whether or not I can consume unheard of amounts of alcohol, but I am old enough to help determine the future of 313 million people.

I woke up a 5:45 a.m. and nearly broke my leg as I rushed to get ready. The whole process only took me about 15 minutes, while it took my mom, who was scolding me for taking too long, about an hour to get ready.

When we arrived at the election center, the street was packed with cars. The rain and wind made the Tuesday morning even gloomier. For about five minutes we stood outside waiting to get into the building but were quickly invited in by the voting officials. As we walked in, the wait seemed relatively short until we walked a little deeper into the building and realized that the line wrapped around twice.

The response from everyone as they came to the same realization was the same four-letter word that rhymes with “zit.”

When I did get to vote, I was extremely paranoid that I was going to vote for the wrong person. I checked the instructions five times. After I had confirmed everything, I submitted my ballot and eagerly accepted my “I’m a Georgia Voter” sticker.

I’m really excited to see what Obama will bring to America for his final term. And I’m definitely going to vote in future elections.

— Aazia Tayor 

As I’m following behind my mother in the car, I get anxious by the mile.  Upon arriving to the voting polls. Being a first-time voter feels amazing knowing that I can change the world.

As we pull up to our precinct, a little but of nerves run through my body. Twenty minutes waiting in line deffinetly beats waiting for two hours. I walk up to my voting booth and check for every single Democrat. Voting for our president, Barrack Obama, felt so right.

Being that we had no school on Tuesday, the whole house was glued to all the news channels. The Republican states were in the lead for the most part. As I went to sleep that night, I almost lost hope. Mitt Romney was in the lead with a high percentage of electoral votes. Just thinking of his winning sent chills through my body.

In my opinion, Romney is the devil. He is for only the wealthy and planned on cutting out Obamacare. I prayed right before I closed my eyes and dreamt about how our country would go down.

Beep beep beep goes my alarm Wednesday morning. I picked up my phone nervously shaking. Screaming out of joy and doing my happy dance was a site to see. Seeing our president Barrack Obama being able to serve two terms as our president is like God himself looking over our country.

— Bryana Bryant

Prior to my election day, I’ve been begged to vote everywhere I go. I went to the mall and saw booths up urging people to vote. I also went to the train station on my way home and saw tables set up for young people urging us to register to vote. Seeing all this made me realize that voting was a major priority that I should take advantage of it.

Unfortunately, I’m a high school senior that is only seventeen years old, and I won’t be able to vote because my birthday falls in February. Saddened by the news of not being able to vote for my president this term, I still tried my best to stay involved in the election. I kept up with all the presidential debates to see which candidate would not only meet my needs as an American, but also America as a whole.

After small consideration, I chose my candidate that I’d vote for if I could actually vote. My presidential choice had better plans to offer me as a student about to enroll in college next fall, better health-care plans, and my curiosity to see more of what he had to offer. Since I could not vote, I dropped friends off at different voting locations since I do drive for early voting.

On the actual election day, Nov. 6, 2012, I went with my mother at 7 a.m. to vote at a Morningside church up the street from my home. We stood in line for about 30 minutes. We entered the building and a lady checked my mothers ID while I awkwardly stood their wishing I was just three months older. We walked to the booth and my mother voted for our choice.

After “we” voted, I got a lollipop and sticker saying that I was a Georgia voter. Regardless of me entering a vote, I still felt very much apart of the election. I felt important because I got to “vote” for the first time. I went through the same process of an actual voter would when deciding their president elect; I felt involved.

Sadly, I won’t be able to truly vote until the next election when I’m 21 years old, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to see it all. I tried my best to stay awake for the counting of the West Coast votes, but I ended up falling asleep in my bed with my cookies’n’ cream ice cream. At about 11:30 p.m., my mom came into my room screaming that president Obama was re-elected, and that I should turn my television off and go to sleep. The election was over now.

— Jori Shorts

… and the 44th President of the United States of America is…, a projection people around the world were waiting for.

The day of the election, Nov. 6, 2012, I was quite confident in my political party and candidate. For this being my first time voting I researched all the facts. This year there was a lot of important issues at stake. I wanted to be sure I was electing the right guy.

My mom had me participate in early voting with her. It would have been a thrill to vote on the actual day but we knew the lines would be crazy. I still was hype, however, and anticipating the results. This experience was one I would never forget. Not only did my vote count, but I made history.

Four years ago, I witnessed the election of an African-American president. But Nov. 6, 2012 I took part in electing an African-American president for his second term. My voting experience was very quick and simple. The voting precinct did not have a line all. I just walked in and began the process. I envisioned it to be a long and time-consuming process, I voted on Oct. 31, 2012.

So once I casted my vote, it was time to play the waiting game.

— Chelsye Bailey

On Tuesday morning, I woke up to the bright sun shining in through my window. It was a nice peaceful and serene setting.

Both my parents were gone at their jobs, my dog was already walked and fed. There was no rush to get ready for school. I had no idea how this day would go. I had piled up college application work for this day and even scheduled in a nice long run for the morning.

I had no intentions to follow the election. I was an April baby, so I was not yet able to vote. Both of my parents took advantage of early voting. I followed the media on both candidates, watched both debates and had even formed my own opinions to why I supported the Democratic Party. For some reason, however, I was not feeling quite patriotic enough to even glance at how Election Day was progressing.

Around the time of 7 p.m., I knew, from previous elections, that the polls in Georgia were now closed. I had a pretty productive day so, I decided to end my work early and check in to Facebook. I was really curious as to how my Facebook friends were reacting to the election so far.

When I logged on I saw the already anticipated statuses supporting one or the other candidate, photos of people with their “I’m a Georgia Voter” stickers, and event invites to Election Day parties. What I wasn’t expecting to see was so many stories of how people were surprised that Mitt Romney won the popular vote of Georgia. I couldn’t believe so many teens were ignorant to the Republican majority present in Georgia. Of course I wasn’t happy with it, but I though it was common knowledge of the difference between Atlanta and the rest of Georgia.

I jumped on the keyboard and began typing away a long status, voicing my frustration and annoyance at all these statuses, earning 31 likes. After posting, I began taking glances at the results of the southeast. I also turned the TV on and began switching back and forth between ABC News and The Big Bang Theory.

It wasn’t until the suspenseful news that Obama was leading Ohio by 51 percent was announced that I turned my full attention to the election. I began posting statuses after every update on the race. I was getting into heated arguments and long discussion with others on Facebook. It was exhilarating!

I followed the race all the way up until 11 p.m. when everyone began focusing on Obama’s possible chances of winning Florida. The adrenaline rush I was on earlier was now almost out of my system. I was tired, so I thought I’d take a 30-minute nap, then continue following the race.

My mother came in my room, yelling and hollering and shook me awake.

“Obama won!” she exclaimed. I was mad. This was MY time to know before her, I followed the race for four hours!

I didn’t even vote. I checked my phone and I was only asleep for literally 6 minutes. I was secretly irritated. How DARE Obama win the election while I was asleep! I must say Tuesday was a great experience to still feel involved in the election.

— Courtney Marshall

I felt uncertain, a breed of uncertainty that I had never felt before because, well, I have never thought about the issues at hand.

Sitting alone on the black and gold sofa in the upstairs of my house, I had some time to think, specifically about the magnitude of this election, as well as the future of our country.

To be clear, I do not associate with any particular political party, nor am I trying to force any political beliefs or ideals. It is my personal opinion that high school student cannot clearly and independently formulate their political ideas at this age without the strong influence of their peers, specifically their parents. And I am not saying I am perfectly innocent of that either. In order to understand your own political ideals, you must first find an understanding of the inner workings of yourself, which is something most teenagers, myself included, have not yet found.

I was not frustrated about a thirst to put a conservative president in the White House or tweeting celebratory tweets under #4moreyearz. But I was in a general state of discontent. Watching the election coverage, I witnessed multiple senatorial candidates give their first speeches and members of the government. Their talk about “millionaires and billionaires paying their fair share” as well as the constant diagrams showing the familiar stark red and deep blue colors showing the division of power in congress showed me something: our government houses rigid sectionalism.

In George Washington’s farewell address in 1796 at the end of his presidency, he emphasized that for the strength of the Union, there be a sense of unity among Americans in order to achieve a common good. He asks the people to place their identity as Americans above their identities as members of a certain state, region or political affiliation. He implored the American people to avoid this because, in his eyes, sectionalism would lead to the demise of the United States of America.

If the country’s first president was sitting in the dimly lit upstairs room of my house with me watching the election coverage, he would be disappointed. It would pain him to see the never ending graphics of maps of red and blue states, the lavish celebrations put on by the political parties, or the red and blue ties around the necks of each politician, clearly denoted by the news stations with a (R) or (D) immediately following the name and title of politicians.

Who’s to say Washington isn’t right? With the division between political groups becoming more and rigid, when will it finally reach an ultimatum? Keep in mind, this is very similar to the reason our country went through Civil War.

This I believe: the United States needs a reality check. We need to remember what that we are all in this together, that the government should be working towards a common goal: helping the American people. It should not be a constant tug-of-war, I-was-right-you-werewrong fight between political affiliations.

Without this sense of unity, I am afraid to see how frighteningly hectic our country can become.

— Luke Webster

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