1 Four Election Dayz | The Billfold

Four Election Dayz

1. 2000. George W. Bush “wins.” I was in high school, too young to vote. My brain tends to erase stressful events and happenings, so I don’t remember much except being upset about THE THEFT OF THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY. I had zero dollars at the time, so this election cost me $0.

2. 2004. George W. Bush wins. I voted for the first time, for Kerry (duh). After the results came in, I wore black and walked around campus in mourning, stopping for a $5 peppermint mocha and a $10 sandwich (duh). 

3. 2008. Obama wins. My brother and I are at a packed bar in Portland, standing on a bench. We call our parents. Can they believe it? They can’t. Can we believe it? We can’t. We meet up with friends and get Mexican from the 24-hour-Mexican place by the house (MY TREAT, surely), sharing smiles and cheers with the workers. We bring the food home and eat burritos filled with unmelted shredded cheese and drink whiskey and play records and laugh and smile at our exciting futures.

4. 2012. ????? wins. I thought I was registered but it turned out it wasn’t registered and by the time I figured out I wasn’t registered it was too late to register. When I found out, I just thought, okay, I’ll just donate some money to Obama and that’ll be worth a vote, or whatever. Except then I forgot and didn’t do that, so basically if Romney wins it’s my fault. I’m at my cousin’s house in Minneapolis so any celebrating/commiserating will be courtesy of their liquor cabinet and snack closet (freeeeee).


43 Comments / Post A Comment

joyballz (#2,000)


pocket-witch (#1,576)

@joyballz As a voter in Ohio: PLEASE STOP CALLING ME. The more you call, the more my rage grows.

joyballz (#2,000)

@pocket-witch fair. the point was there is more that could be done than vote and donate.

1996: I argue with my fellow fourth grader about Clinton versus Dole. Her argument? “My parents like Dole” Mine “My parents like Clinton” Very insightful discussion.

2000: I don’t remember much except my mom kept (and still has!) all the NY Times front page sections from election day-the Supreme Court decision. I also remember an overwhelming sense of unfairness and “This does not feel very American-democratic-y”

2004: Also remember nearly nothing, except I knew GWB was bad news and I was annoyed I was assigned to “campaign” for him in my gov class. But, my partner and I made a sweet apple-shaped poster about his education policy. My high school “voted” for Kerry (despite being a conservative town?) but obviously that was not meant to be.

2008: Watched returns with my sister in her college apartment. Her roommate “Uh, how long are you going to watch this?” Us: “Uh, until we have a new president?” The election was called, we walked to my boyfriend’s for cheap champagne. One of my favorite memories. Cost: Probably $150-200 to various Dems.

2012: Voted. Going to sit at work anxiously then rush home to start obsessing over returns with some New Belgium Snowcap. I’m kind of worried about some states being too close to call and having a 2000 repeat. Cost: $65 to the BO campaign. I would have done more BUT I am trying not to put things on credit…and I put most of my 2008 contributions on credit.

oiseau (#1,830)

@polka dots vs stripes

1996: I am in third grade and everyone’s parents are Republicans. Me and my friend Julia find a picture book about President Clinton on the bookshelf and we take turns blowing raspberries at it and occasionally stomping on it. It’s a lot of fun to have an enemy.

2000: Don’t remember much, either, except my dad listening to NPR and to the local conservative pundit’s radio station. I do remember not agreeing with said conservative pundit frequently and having my dad try to explain his points to me. His arguments seem like a bunch of hooey and tiny questions form in my 12 year old brain.

2004: In high school. Am turning into the liberal person I am today but am still a little confused. Lots of self-righteous rich kids voting for Bush in my history class mock election, leaving me to wonder if my initial urge to support Kerry is valid or not. My arch-nemesis, Matt, has a sign that says “God bless America”. I scribble out “America” and write in “The World” which enrages him and we battle it out for a few hours in class.

2008: Day after the election, walking on college campus, feeling light and free and hopeful. It was my first time voting, and although my vote made zero difference in the results of the city I grew up in, I still feel amazing.

2012: Am still registered in tiny hometown, I’ve forgotten to change my address. I drove 2 hours out to the town’s small community center and happily cast my (pretty pointless) vote. Oh well. Excited to watch the results come in tonight!

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

Logan nooooo! That’s such a bummer. The same thing happened to me in 2004. That being said, I’ll totally blame you tomorrow if I have to enter voluntary exile in Panama to avoid the Romney administration.

TheDilettantista (#1,255)

Logan, your posts stress me out girl.

KingCash (#2,095)

My first real election memory is from 2000. I was pretty young at the time but I have a very vivid memory of sitting in our living room (on the ugly but super comfortable floral-print recliner) on election night. Florida had already been called for Gore but one of the networks had an interview with Bush where he was just like “heh heh, we’ll see, I think things might come out differently in Florida.” Ugh.

Here’s to hoping this year goes better!

anyone wants me to do this but with mexican elections? no? I’ll do it anyways.
2000: First time the opposition has a real chance to win. I’m 12 and go with my parents to vote. While they do it (dad for winner Vicente Fox, mom for the leftist candidate with no chance at all) I fill a poll for kids and think that next time, I’ll ge to vote for real!.
2006: election day is the day after one of my best friend’s high school graduation and a week before mine, so we all feel very adult and stay up all night discussing if we should vote for López Obrador or Calderón. I don’t trust AMLO so I go for Calderón. Six years later I still don’t know if I made the right choice or if the election was legal. But I also voted for governor that day and I KNOW it was the wrong choice.
2012: I just moved to Mexico City and missed my chance to change my adress in time for the election, so I have to vote in a “casilla especial” near my house. The line is very long, it’s cold and then it’s hot and then it rains. Everyone is very nervous and passing out inaccurate information. I don’t get to vote because there are only 300 spots and when I got there at 8am it was already packed. I stay for 5 hours anyway, feeling powerless. The worst possible choice wins. Six LONG years ahead of us.

honey cowl (#1,510)

@MaríaJosé E.H.@twitter Oooh I loved this! Tell us more! We are ignorant Americans who forget that other countries and their elections are important too.

@Lauren Thank you! My experience this year was very frustrating and I don’t think I’m over it yet. What would you like to know?. Also, the new first lady is a telenovela star.

@MaríaJosé E.H.@twitter Good idea, I will do it with Canadian elections, because I’m feeling left out of the election-fever.

2004: I’m in Ontario going to university. I am staunchly in favour of the Green Party, so I bring my utility bill to the polls, register, and vote for them. My roommate wants to vote NDP, but her father has convinced her anything but a vote for the Liberals is a vote for a Conservative win, and I can’t convince her otherwise. The Liberals win, so maybe her dad was right. The Green Party gets nothing.
2006: This time I’m smarter, and register under my “permanant” address (ie my parents’) in BC, which happens to be one of the few ridings the Green Party has a chance in. They still don’t win, and now Steven Harper and the Conservatives are in power, but only in a minority government which gives me (faint) hope.
2008: Now I’m in a different riding in BC that splits Conservative/NDP. I still support the Green Party, but I vote NDP in this riding instead of Green in my parents’. The Conservatives win another minority. I curse the West for supporting the dead-eyed bastard.
2011: Now I’m in an NDP stronghold. I can’t claim my parents’ residence anymore, so I vote Green, knowing NDP is safe where I live and wanting to give the Greens a leeetle more money/credibility. The NDP rides the combined charisma of Obama and Jack Layton to become the Opposition, and Elizabeth May is the first elected Green Party member, but now Steven Harper has his Conserviative majority. I post angry messages about Ontario on my Facebook, and silently hope Lizzie can magically fix things in the House. She can’t, and it gets bad.

@MilesofMountains that was great! The Green Party in México is terrible, I wish I had a party to really root for. This year there was a political website called “el menos peor” (something like “the lesser of two evils”) and it always feels like we vote for that.

notetoself (#1,291)

@MaríaJosé E.H.@twitter I’ll pip in for Australia! I’ve voted in probably 8 or 9 elections (local, state and federal) since I turned 18, and I live in a very solidly right-wing electorate, so none of the stories are very exciting. But voting is about my favourite thing.

I’ve worked as an electoral official for the last two elections and its fascinating. Voting is compulsory in Australia (which is fantastic IMO – it’s a secret ballot), so voting becomes a community event. Last election I was able to help several recent immigrants vote for the first time.

theotherginger (#1,304)

@MaríaJosé E.H.@twitter yes. if I were Mexican I would be so mad. I’m not Mexican and I am mad, to be frank. I “get” why people voted for peña nieto (stability, bribery, who can say), and i dislike the leftist option, and it just makes me sad.
As a Canadian, I just want to shake up my country and be like, why are you doing this? Relatives? Why did you vote for Harper? Why?

@theotherginger Yes, I am angry and I feel powerless. I grew up thinking of the PRI as the WORST, but I also used to live in the southeast, where we had absolutely no violence. I can’t even picure living in a place where the narcos can block random streets and open fire. I get that people are more scared than ever ,and choices made while scared are the worst choices, I think.

theotherginger (#1,304)

@MaríaJosé E.H.@twitter yeah, I am in Mexico City right now, and I recently made friends with a group of people who studied in Monterrey, and are from a whole bunch of northern states. There is a war no one is talking about (although apparently it’s better now, but better than what).

1988: I am seven years old and explain to one of my friends that Democrats want to help everyone, and Republicans only want to help rich people.

2012: sticking with that, pretty much.

2000 … I remember being 13 and incorrectly telling a joke that I didn’t really understand at the time about the irony of Gore wanting peace and Bush wanting war.

Brunhilde (#78)

The first election in which I could legally vote, I registered on my college campus with one of the student booths on the main walkway. Later when I found out that I wasn’t actually registered, I realized that marking “Democrat” on a voter registration and handing it to a Republican Student Union booth worker was probably not the wisest choice. At least it was just a mid-term election. I got it sorted out by 2000, in which I voted for Nader (in California). I don’t really remember why.

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

2000 – I’m in college and have sent in an absentee ballot. I hit refresh on my computer like a motherf-er.

2004 – Don’t remember.

2008 – I’m in Virginia and after voting in a fairly empty polling place and getting my sticker (which is still in my wallet), I head over to a friend’s house to watch the results. OBAMA WINS!!!!

2012 – I see a small line outside the polling place and sadly realize that I should have gotten there at 6 when the polls opened. Alas, no sticker. Though after I leave 30 min later, the line has doubled in size.

Fig. 1 (#632)

It seems so odd (and massively suppressive) to me that you can’t vote if you don’t register in advance. Like, in Canada, you can just register at the polls. Which is great, because when I was in school and moving around every 2-3 years, my registration would always be incorrect but a utility bill would solve that handily. Also it didn’t require a lot of advance planning, something I realize many 19-22 year olds struggle with.

MagnoliaQueen (#2,614)

@Fig. 1 That’s not true everywhere; different states have different rules. In Maine where I am, we have same day registration. There was an attempt to get rid of it last year, but luckily that lost by a pretty wide margin.

@Fig. 1 In most places you can do same-day registration if you have proof a residence like a driver’s license, utility bill, pay stub, government check, statement of occupancy from a homeless shelter, etc. Which is what I did today. If you don’t have that, you can still cast a provisional ballot.

From the New York BOE website: “If your name does not appear on the list of registered voters or if your signature is missing from that list, you will be given an affidavit ballot and an envelope in which to seal it in. At the close of the polls, the sealed envelopes are brought back to the Board of Elections offices where your registration will be verified before your ballot is canvassed.” Logan!!!

Fig. 1 (#632)

@stuffisthings @MagnoliaQueen Whoof, well I am relieved that it is not as restrictive as I initially thought? Political parties up here are just starting to experiment with the joys of voter suppression, huzzah. (That was a very ironic huzzah in case you were wondering.)

notetoself (#1,291)

@Fig. 1 Do people in the US have to register separately for each election? Or just if they move electorates? In Australia you can’t register on the day of an election, but you only have to register to vote once (in your life) and the electoral office goes round to schools so that teenagers can register prior to turning 18.

@notetoself You register to vote when you turn 18 and then you only have to change registration when you move. The demographics of this website (I would assume) are probably 20s – people who are moving around a lot and maybe didn’t change their registration right away.

selenana (#673)

@stuffisthings Actually, you can only do same-day registration in a handful of states. Most states require advance registration of a week or two.

LDW@twitter (#1,216)

1984: I’m in kindergarten in Northern CA and my mom takes my sister, my best friend, and I to a Mondale meet-and-greet in the pouring rain. He doesn’t shake anyone’s hand. Mondale wins my kindergarten class’s mock election. When Reagan wins for real, I cry.
1988: My mom and her friend take my sister and I to a Dukakis rally in downtown Chicago. It’s noisy and fun and we get to stay up WAY past our bedtimes. We go to school the next day with our jackets covered in campaign stickers. I don’t cry when Dukakis loses but I am pretty bummed.
1992: Carol Moseley Braun is running and stops by my school. Clinton is pretty popular amongst the 7th and 8th grade set.
1996: Senior year and I’m too preoccupied with college apps and my boyfriend to pay much attention. I’m just 2 months shy of being eligible to vote which bums me out later when I cast my first vote in 2000.
2000: Senior year in college. The guy I’m semi-seeing and I watch the returns at the college democrats’ headquarters until midnight. Our relationship fizzles after. On inauguration day I go to DC and protest in the freezing rain.
2004: First year in NY and I vote absentee in Illinois. My roommate and I settle in for a night of mojitos and victory which quickly turns into drinking the pain away. The next day in class everyone’s eyes are red.
2008: My roommate and I vote in lower Manhattan and Russell Simmons is at our polling place. Later we watch the returns on BBC. I get hugged by a lot of strangers.
2012: Living upstate in a very small town and vote in a firehouse about 10 minutes from my house. I should be working but I keep refreshing nytimes.com. Going to two parties tonight.

Tell me more about this “snack closet”.

aeroaeroaero (#1,422)

1992: I am 6 years old, and Clinton won in a landslide. My parents were thrilled, so was I. Was this when the Dan Quayle “potatoe” spelling bee fiasco happened? I think so. If so, I remember that, too. I think Quayle thought everything had an e an the end because of his name, and also he was very stupid.

1996: I am 10. Fifth grade? I and a guy named Bill were the only democrats in our class. Or at least, we were the only people whose parents were democrats in our class. This was Arizona. Clinton won, I was smug.

2000: I am 14. Still in Arizona. Very disheartened by the month it took for Bush to win. I coined the term “Al Gore-geous” and had a Gore/Lieberman sticker on my backpack. Lieberman! Ew.

2004: I am 18. First year of college and first presidential election. I voted for Kerry (who I really actually liked? I know, weird) and listened to Air America a lot after the election. I remember listening to Janeane Garofalo pleading that lawyers get together to prove the outcome was illegal. I felt very depressed. Still was in Arizona at this point.

2008: 22 years old. Volunteered hard for the Arizona Democrats leading up to the election, (BO still lost hard in AZ because McCain), watched the results come in at the Democratic HQ. Drank a lot of champagne, called EVERYONE. Cried tears of joy, even though I wanted Hillary.

2012: Voted in San Francisco, where I moved in 2009. Going to an election party tonight where there will be “Blue Hawaiians” and “Neg-Rom-ni’s” served. Feeling pretty good that Obama is going to win, although if he does, I don’t think I’ll get weepy again, but I’ll be very happy.

NJGirl (#2,613)

Ok wow i feel really old now but..

1984 1st grade, some guy named Reagan wins again but more importantly I learn there has never been a woman president, I tell my first grade class it will be me

1988 I’m pretty sure my mom at least voted Dukakis but more importantly on election day we went to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular for the first time and had really great seats!

1992 I was in love in Al Gore and voted for Clinton in our High School election

1996 My first real election, absentee voted for Clinton, the first and last time I voted for a winner and had a bit of underage fun courtesy of the DNC

2000 Voted for Nader, watched the returns in a bar and stayed up till it was called for Gore..woke up to a whole new world….

2004 Watched again with my election buddy from 2000 in my JC apt, again I’m a Nader girl

2008 Married and voted against a candidate instead of for…so I voted Republican for the first time (sorry didn’t buy into the Hope and Change line….)

2012 Spent over 4 bucks to send my overseas absentee ballot in….Jill Stein this time and when I wake up for breakfast the polls should be closed

2016 I’m legally old enough to run so I know who I’m voting for….

Blondsak (#2,299)

@NJGirl 2008: it was the Married thing, wasn’t it?

NJGirl (#2,613)

@LO Nah the husband isn’t a US citizen and didn’t have much of an opinion (but I know what he wants me to vote in our new home next time I can), I took him to the voting place with me and was more like ugh I’ve never voted Republican before but McCain plays better with others….

Blondsak (#2,299)

@NJGirl I didn’t vote for him in 2008, but I do think McCain is one of the best Republican candidates to come up for executive office in decades. My dad, a Republican, laments often that he is not running this year; he thinks he’d stand a much better chance to win than Romney does.

NJGirl (#2,613)

@LO I thought McCain had better experience working across the aisle, esp with people like former Senator Kennedy, I might not have liked his politics but he was a person you believed wanted to do good. My mom is a democrat and my dad is a well I dont know the last time he voted Democratic or Republican although 2000 was at least a 2 to 1 house

honey cowl (#1,510)

Most vivid election memories: telling my small-town Illinois BFF’s Grandmother (president of the local GOP supporter club or whatever) that since my mom was voting for Clinton, it was obviously the right choice. This was the first Clinton election so I was 4.

Being confused and then angry when I realize my dad and my mom voted differently in 2000. Since my mom’s candidate won in 96, clearly my dad deserves a term? But then once I hear what the candidates actually stand for, I realize mom was right all along.

Being miserably too young to vote against GW. Crying about it. Literally.

Washing my hands in my college dorm room, listening to kids party on the quad for Obama, and feeling disenchanted. Sure, I voted for him, but I really, really, REALLY wanted Hillary.

And now! This year I am proud to be a much more fervent Obama supporter this time around. I will be partying SO HARD when he wins, I will make up for all the singing and dancing in the streets I did not do last time!!!!

oiseau (#1,830)

Hillary 2016! y/n?

Blondsak (#2,299)

@oiseau I’d be down with that.

@oiseau Noooo Warren!!

After the GWB fiasco, I won’t vote for anyone who’s immediate family member was also president. Somewhat immature, I know, but really, I can’t have my entire life be Reagan (for a year)-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-Clinton.

I love Hil and think she’s a great Sec of State but don’t want her to run :/ We need some fresh blood in the WH.

honey cowl (#1,510)


acid burn (#113)

WHAT IS THE 24 HOUR MEXICAN PLACE PLEASE? Unless it is terrible.

2004 was also my first election and it pretty much broke me.

2008 MAYBE restored my faith in the system slightly. I cried a lot of happy tears.

2012: Turned in my ballot on Sunday. I am taking a midterm from 6-8pm and then I’m still in class until after 9 and I don’t know how I’m going to concentrate AT ALL. My main concern is that there are A LOT of shenanigans already being reported with voting machine irregularities and I’m pretty nervous about that.

(bonus: 1992 at age seven, I voted for Perot in the fake kid voting thing at my school, because I thought his ears were funny like a cartoon character. That was the last time I voted Republican.)

camtown (#2,649)

@Logan in Minnesota it is honestly never to late to register. We are fortunate enought to have the vouching system and same-day registration.

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