Two days before the presidential election, our Lifestyle & Relationships Editor called more than 30 voters in North Carolina, a critical swing state, as a volunteer with MoveOn.org. It was intense.
Like many, I have watched this election like the circus it became.
The rise of presidential candidate Donald Trump went from a running joke to a horror film as his hatred and bigotry grew an army of Americans to “Make America Great Again” by racial profiling, religious intolerance and open season for assault on women.
I never thought he could actually win. As the polls tightened, I realized I needed to do everything within my power to ensure Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate this country has ever had, becomes president. So when MoveOn.org sent a text to see if I could make calls to voters in swing states, I signed up.
The Sunday before the election, I chatted with more than 30 registered voters in North Carolina, where a tight race ensues. I wasn’t ready. Here’s a recap.
Call 1: Black male, 27. He’s voting for Hillary. I take a deep breath. Grateful this is off to a good start and he is clear on the value of his vote. Young black men can have so much at stake while not always having their voices and views seen and heard.
Call 2: wrong number
Call 3: Black woman picks up. I was calling for her mom. They both have already voted early for Clinton. YES.
Call 4: “B*tch, quit calling the wrong number, shit.” For the record that was my first time calling. I don’t say this. Voter’s number has changed. The current owner stays mad. Still hope she votes.
Call 7: Black female, 30s, planning to vote for Clinton
Call 8: Black male, 32. He’s with her.
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Call 10: Black male teen, 17, picks up. His granddad is not available. He’s looking forward to voting next time.
Call 11: Roy, 60, and I talk for 11 minutes. He’s an African American veteran and not sure if he’s voting and who he will vote for if he does. “I decide when I get there if I go.” He’s still mad at Clinton for what she said about President Obama during the campaign eight years ago. “Well, I can’t forgive that,” when I share Obama has moved forward and forgiven and had her in his cabinet. He also thinks email could have her in jail. We have an interesting conversation. I thank him for sharing.
Call 13: “Hell no,” white male replies when I ask if we can count on his vote for Hillary Clinton, before hanging up.
Call 17: Black female, already voted for Clinton.
Call 18: Black male, already voted for Clinton.
Call 21: Black female, 30, planning to vote for Clinton.
Call 22: Black female, 29, now lives in Florida. She’s flying back home to North Carolina tomorrow to cast her vote for Clinton. Dedication.
Call 23: “I wouldn’t vote for either one of them thangs,” white female with deep southern drawl.
Call 25: Father picked up call for his son, white male. “I didn’t know he was registered,” dad says. He has already voted. “It ain’t Clinton,” he replies when asked his candidate.
Call 26: Black woman with one of those voicemails that makes you think the person picked up. I left a message encouraging her to get to the polls in this critical election and complimenting the clever (ahem, side eye worthy) message.
Call 27: Undecided
Call 29: Teresa is voting for Hillary Clinton and very excited about it!
Call 31: Black female, 30, voting for Clinton though over getting calls. It’s her 3rd call about voting.
Call your friends and family to make sure they are voting. We need every vote. And to all the customer service reps, sending you much love. Calling ain’t easy.
Get to the polls and vote this Tuesday, Nov. 8, to vote for president and critical decision makers in our communities.
Visit vote.org for information and support.