November 6th! Election Day in the U.S.! It’s finally here! It’s so exciting!
If you can vote, I hope you will vote. If you’ve already voted, that’s even better. As for my vote, it’s been received by the Board of Elections and is just waiting to be counted.
I’m so excited and full of nervous energy. (Elections are so exciting!) I’m nine hours ahead over here, which means I’ve already been up all day and am still going to have to wait all night and into tomorrow morning before the results come in. How am I going to be able to sleep tonight?
At least this afternoon I had the distraction of participating in a fun U.S. elections event held at our local American Corner. Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, American Corners are little libraries that house English language books, periodicals, and movies. They also host events and activities to help community members understand more about America and practice their English. For example, some fellow PCVs and I lead a weekly English conversation club for students here at our Corner in Akhaltsikhe.
So over the past week, American Corners across Georgia (there are about nine) have been holding U.S. presidential elections events and mock debates for young people. And ours happened to be today, which lent the whole thing an additional air of excitement (but it would have been exciting no matter what because elections are so exciting!). I gave a brief presentation about when and how Americans vote, background on our two main political parties (Democrats and Republicans, naturally), and biographical information about the two major party candidates (Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney, in case you don’t live in Ohio and have forgotten who they are). Then two students portraying the candidates gave presentations and debated each other. This part was in Georgian, so I couldn’t follow all the details, but I can tell you that Russia was a big topic of conversation. Finally, when the candidates’ presentations and discussion had concluded, the students got to vote. Results of the vote tabulation revealed Obama with a landslide victory: 28 votes to Romney’s 15. I think it was inevitable that the Democratic candidate, being represented by a donkey, was going to win. Donkeys are very popular in Georgia.
The event was so much fun. The kids paid attention and were really interested in the presentations and information. I think many of them have a natural curiosity about who will be President of the United States due to America’s influence throughout the world. But talking about the way elections work in the U.S. and where the presidential candidates stand on issues also gives them a chance to make comparisons to what’s happening right here in Georgia. As you know, they just had their own big election (and yes, it was also very exciting!).
So below are some pictures from the event. Oh, I wish I could be back in the U.S. today, helping to knock on doors and get out the vote. Instead I’ll be watching all night long, and tomorrow morning too, from way over here. But I’m with you in spirit.
P.S. I got my “I voted” sticker after all. (SO EXCITING!)