Today was the last day of elections. The last day for the student body to vote. I wore my Ally & Zac tshirt and my Ally & Zac flare for the n-th day in a row and asked every single person I saw (that I knew even remotely) if they’d voted yet. And if they hadn’t yet, I inserted a little recommendation for who I thought was a good choice, just in case they couldn’t read it on my shirt.
In my FVS Film Editing class, I brought my laptop and had all the students there vote. Again, I didn’t tell them who to vote for… just highly recommended my favorite candidates. When I went up in front of them to ask for their help, I asked all twenty of them, “How many of you are planning to vote in the UOSA elections today?” Not a single hand went up (no nodding heads either).
“Well, if you aren’t planning to vote and it means nothing to you, then I’d really appreciate your vote, as it really means something to me,” I told them all. I got over ten votes from that class. Score!
After class, I was pretty sure I was coming down with something (symptoms: exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes, pressure at the base of my skull, nausea), so I went home and took a deliciously long two-hour nap.
Then it was Watch Party time. The polls closed at 9pm, and everyone was meeting at O’Connells (a local bar on Campus Corner) to await the news. We (myself, the head campaign coordinator, and a fellow volunteer) were a little late getting there, and there was already a large crowd assembled upon our arrival. We were so late, in fact, that I was a little worried we’d already missed the announcement.
Nope. Not at all. We got there at 9:20pm and had to wait all the way until 10:00pm to find out the winner. That was waaaaaaaaaay too long for my poor nerves. During those tense moments, as we all stood around trying to make small talk while not being able to concentrate on either our comments or the other’s responses, I swore I’d never do this again.
This is why I hate politics, I thought. It’s like when you are way too emotionally invested in a basketball game that your younger brother is playing in (state championship game comes to mind). You have absolutely ZERO control over the outcome of the event, and yet you know that if your side doesn’t win, you’ll probably be so disappointed that you’ll cry. The pain of losing wont be felt for yourself, but for your dear friend or brother who put so much into the game or election. Its so so hard.
And I’d forgotten what that feeling was like until today. I’d also forgotten how much I utterly despise that feeling. That sinking, wrenching feeling in the pit of my stomach can be largely blamed for why I steered away from politics once in college.
But there I was, completely invested in the outcome of this election. I’d spent over fifty hours on their campaign videos, planning, filming, and editing them all. I’d cried over them (damn technical issues) and panicked over them and skipped too many classes for them.
And beyond that, beyond myself, I really cared about these two candidates. I really felt that Ally and Zac were the best two people for the job. They were the most passionate and the most sincere.
All this was swirling around in my head as the time ticked by. Stressful long minutes passed. There was a reporter from the OU Daily, our student newspaper, there and he had Ally and Zac stand in a particular place in the bar so that he could get a good picture of them when the news broke. To me, that was a little suspect. He claimed he knew the outcome of the elections already. And when a reporter for the Daily arrived, a little bell chimed in my head. But I refused to get my hopes too high. You never know with these things.
By the time 10:00pm rolled around (30 minutes after we were supposed to be notified), we were all on edge. There were over forty of us there, stressed and excited. Then, in through the doors of the bar walked the UOSA Election Board. Suffocating silence, followed by Ally’s, “Oh my god.”
We waited, and then, with a grin, once of the board members raised his arms to the pair and said those wonderful words… “Congratulations.”
The room erupted.
Bear hugs. Grins. Cheers! WOOOOOOOOP!
It was so exciting. We were beyond ecstatic. All that hard work, that time and energy we all spent to get these two elected had paid off. The long nights Ally and Zac spent planning the campaign… it was all worth it.
Hooray for Ally and Zac!