Since the 2000 election, I’ve spent every election day (both Presidential and Congressional) having either worked or volunteered at least a few days on a campaign. Despite trying our hardest, it wasn’t exactly easy to follow the race from abroad. We weren’t able to watch the conventions or debates, but we followed the race the best we could and religiously read election news (thank you Nate Silver!). We even changed our voter registration from DC to Kentucky and sent in our absentee ballots in October.
We were both ecstatic that Barack Obama was elected to serve another four years. However, we were heartbroken to see our home district Congressman beaten. As you may know, Amy and I met while working for Congressman Ben Chandler and we owe our marriage, many of our closest friendships, and our subsequent success in DC to having worked for him. I have no doubt that Ben will continue his service to Kentucky in some capacity in the future, but for now, Central Kentucky has lost a dedicated public servent.
Since we are 12 hours ahead of the East Coast, the meat of the election started when I woke up on Wednesday morning around 6:30 am. Luckily Wednesday is the day I don’t have classes, so I stayed home and began the day listening to NPR’s coverage and following a number of websites to follow the returns. Unfortunately, Amy had to teach all day, so I kept her in the loop via text messaging and she was able to sporadically check the news at school.
Around 9 am, I “joined” my DC friends for their election night party through FaceTime (like Skype). It was great, eventually they just set me on the couch and I was able to watch the returns with them and join in on conversation. We all celebrated with the call of Ohio for Obama and the announcement of Obama’s reelection.
That night after Amy and I taught some children in the evening, we went out for dinner and celebrated the President’s reelection, shared stories of elections past and discussed our hopes for the future.
It was an odd way to observe such a momentous occasion, but as Amy said, fortunately we are in the Peace Corps in 2012 when you can still live these moments via technology instead of the 1960’s or 70’s when we would have had to hunt down the one television in the village to find out the results.