Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We did it!

Yesterday was the pinnacle of two and half months of work, sacrifice, and blogging about a political issue!:) Election Day.

I volunteered to be a poll watcher at one of our local precincts. I rose at 5:00 and got ready for the day, praying that the downpours of Monday would be over. I piled my bleary eyed kids into the van, picked up a box of donuts, and was at my assigned polling place by 6:30. My instructions were to set up a YES on 8 table near by polling place, (but of course within legal limits, which are 100 feet from the polls.) I chose a spot farther away because I didn't want anyone to feel intimidated or irritated by my presence, but wanted to be available if people needed clarification on the proposition. (Although you'd have to live in a cave in California if you didn't know that Prop 8 was about marriage, the wording on the ballot was very confusing thanks to our Secretary of State, and we wanted people to go in remembering that a "yes" vote was for traditional marriage.) My kids sat in the car, snarfing donuts and watching a movie until my friend Nancy came to pick them up.

By 9:00 we had decided that there were better uses of our time (as I had people there to help me once it wasn't dawn) and so I continued to check the polls hourly while our other volunteers canvassed the precinct, visiting the homes of people who had pledged to vote Yes and reminding them that it was election day. Those who weren't home got a door hanger with their polling place printed on it. By 4:00, I'm pretty sure that every potential YES voter in all seven precincts that our team was watching had had their door knocked.

At 4:00, we moved to our call center and had a new flood of volunteers in addition to the poll watchers like me who had been going all day. We set up in Jared's office, which is closed on Tuesday afternoons. There were people all over the place, using their cell phones. Our goal was to call every voter until they had voted (with our lists including likely YES and definitely YES voters.) We had some food donated by some good people who wanted to help, and at least 20 people calling through our lists. As people told us they had already voted, we crossed them off the list. When an entire page was crossed off, we did a little dance and shredded it. By 7:30, every page was shredded (at 7:15 we started leaving messages for those who were not picking up the phone, which was about 10% of our list). By 8:00 we were locking up the office and heading home.

Pushing through exhaustion, a few of us decided to go to the Protect Marriage victory party that was being held in Sacramento. I was really hoping for shrimp, but was disappointed! However, we got a chance to cheer and mingle with other supporters while the initial results came in. When it was clear that we were well ahead but that there was a long way to go before all the votes were counted, we left, trying hard to stay awake for the drive home. (Here's a picture with Christine. You might ask why I would post a picture of myself looking tired and harried next to my gorgeous friend. I just didn't remember to pull out my camera earlier in the day, so these are the only pictures I can come up with. At least one of us looks great!)

This morning our local news stations seem hesitant still to call it a victory. With 98% of precincts reporting and with 53% voting YES and 47% voting no, they are saying it is still "too close to call." Hogwash. They called the presidency much earlier than that! Here's something that I found from abcnews.com that almost infers that the proposition may have passed.

This post is not about gloating and being a poor sport, Mom. It is breathing a sigh of relief that the work of so many people for a cause that we deeply believed in has paid off. I am sorry that a victory brings pain to others. I want so much for them to understand that we hold no ill will towards them personally, but that we disagree strongly about the appropriate guidelines for and definition of marriage. Perhaps because our perspectives are so different, that has been nearly impossible for those voting NO to understand.

I do hope that we will be able to live together peaceably after this. Much like presidential elections, (which sometimes your candidates lose and sometimes they win,) when the election is over it is time to put away divisiveness and remember that we are all Americans. We are so blessed to live in a place where democracy rules, even though it doesn't always go the way we had hoped. I pray that it will be so.

15 comments:

Tamlynn said...

Yay! Thank you for doing so much work.

I feel very proud of my county (LA) and everyone who worked hard for what is important to us.

Life At MandyLand said...

I'm so glad all your hard work paid off... Thanks for sticking up for something you believe in... so happy that it passed even though some won't admit it yet...

Nana said...

I expect we will be called upon to share the lessons learned in this effort with people in other states, who will surely all have their turn to fight a similar battle - even if the battleground looks a little different. "Like it or not, we're here!"

Lisa said...

Hooray! I have been looking online waiting to see if this passed. It looks like a similar proposition passed in AZ. I didn't realize there was so much activity in making this happen (booths by the polling stations, calls on election day, doors knocked on, etc.) I was more aware of the signs people were holding along the streets.

Way to go and thanks for all your hard work! I know this measure will affect far more than just CA.

Deborah Gamble said...

Wow! I am proud of your hard work toward something you believe in so strongly. I hope the opponents to this measure will come to understand that this vote was a moral issue for those that voted in favor of the proposition, and an effort to protect the rights of many faiths.

Becky said...

I'm so glad that all of our hard work payed off and I'm sure there were many many people who faced a harder challenge than I did in right leaning Placer county.
I'm so glad that the people of California were able to take a stand on their moral beliefs.
God bless America.

An Ordinary Mom said...

United We Stand ... I, too, hope and pray that our country can now be healed and united and that together we can move this great land forward.

The work you did to get Prop 8 passed is remarkable. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you sacrificed. Thanks!

mindyluwho said...

I did the poll watching too, and then I had to make some phone calls, which was not my favorite thing to do, especially when I contacted a guy who somehow had made it on the "yes" list, but was very obviously NOT for it!

I think we can take a little breather, but then we'll have to keep on fighting, because the proponents for same-sex marraige are on the steps of the Supreme Court as we speak.

Christine said...

yeahhhh!

Erika said...

Yay for hard work & following the prophet.
I think you set a great example for your kids, and its something they'll remember for the rest of their lives.

Aubrey said...

I don't envy you the battle that you had. Our state didn't have nearly the war that you did.
But that also makes victory so much sweeter!
Hooray for marriage and family! And now people know that there is a very big voice FOR traditional values that will not back down!

Ashley said...

Yeah! See I knew there was a reason that I couldn't hang in there for the victory party-- I would have looked horrible standing next to you and Christine in a photo. I was so exhausted and somewhat of a stress case last night, the picture would have NOT been pretty. Looks fun though, way to go!

Deborah said...

Great description of what thousands of us experienced yesterday. What a joy it was to be involved in the ARMY!!!! Thank you for your hard work for the proposition and also for the description for others to know how hard we all worked!!!!

Smith Family said...

Nice work Michal! You are awesome. That is great that you got so involved!

MoziEsmé said...

Congrats! That grass roots stuff does pay off sometimes!