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‘The most important vote I have cast in my life’: Readers share what the election means to them (PHOTOS)

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va @PerilOfAfrica The Washington Post asked voters what was going through their minds as they cast their ballots and where they hope to see the country go next.
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By Shefali S. Kulkarni and Eliza Goren, THE WASHINGTON POST
NOVEMBER 3, 2020

‘This is the most important vote I have cast in my life’
Readers tell us how they’re feeling about the election this year

To call this election historic is an understatement. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 98.9 million Americans have already voted, about 71 percent of the 139 million votes cast in 2016.

For many Americans, this was the first time they voted by mail, dropped their ballot into a secure drop box, wore a mask while voting or tracked their ballot like a package. And then there are those Americans who voted for the first time — ever.

The Washington Post asked readers what was going through their minds as they voted and where they hope to see the country go next. Here’s what they had to say.

We’ll continue to update this story on Election Day. Did you vote and want to share your experience? Let us know here.

How did it feel to cast your ballot this year?
Maggie Broderick
18 •SACRAMENTO
(Courtesy of Maggie Broderick)

“It was thrilling! 2020 marks my first election, since I only turned 18 in September. While I had been looking forward to going to the neighborhood polling center, waiting in line to make my voice heard and normal excitement around it being my first time, it felt just as rewarding to seal the envelope and send it through the mail. I know I live in a state where my vote won’t make as big of a change … but it still feels like a moment I’ll remember until my grandchildren ask me about the historic 2020 election.”

[Photos: What early voting looked like around the country]

Susan Kaplan
70 • TUCSON
I am 70, and for me, this is the most important vote I have cast in my life.

“I felt like I was making a difference when I cast my vote, by mail … and did a little happy dance when the online ballot tracker for my county showed that it had been counted.”

Claire Boudreaux
49 • ALBUQUERQUE
(Courtesy of Claire Boudreaux)

“Overwhelmingly necessary. I have never felt so divided from friends or co-workers behind politics in my 49 years. I want to see the country led with compassion, care for others and for the environment.”

Daniel Price
67 • INDIANA
I try to remain hopeful, but cannot avoid bouts of desperation and hopelessness.

“I do not think my fears will be alleviated on Election Day; I’ll breathe a sigh of relief when Biden is inaugurated. I left the Republican Party early in the Obama administration due to the Republican Party’s blatantly racist reaction to Obama. I have yet to declare myself a Democrat, but I have voted straight Democratic, or perhaps I should say straight anti-Republican, ever since. I became an activist in response to the election of Trump, and regardless of the outcome of the ongoing election, I shall remain an activist.”

Patrick Vogel
64 • SACRAMENTO

“I am terrified of a Biden-Harris ticket. It could ruin the country at the expense of those who have worked hard and followed the rules. Sure, many of those who have scammed the system would also pay, but it would hit the hard-working, fair-minded the worst. It would ruin our chance to set back China and restore domestic manufacturing. It would degrade the quality of life through immigration, leading to overpopulation and depressed wages. Division would worsen under Biden. You have heard this before: I don’t like Trump as a person, but I like his administration’s policies and I dislike the sometimes self-righteous fakery of the left.”
Ivon Steinruck
38 • WATERTOWN, WIS.
(Courtesy of Ivon Steinruck)

“I am 38, and this year was my first time voting. I have never voted before because I believe the election system is fundamentally flawed and does not uphold what our election is supposed to be. A government for the people by the people (not the electorals). But this election is too important to skip despite my distaste for the system.”

DJ Ward
56 • SELMA, N.C.

“This is the first time I’ve ever voted against my party. Three hundred thirty million citizens, and these two are the best presidential candidates they could get? If the Republicans had nominated someone other than President Trump, I wouldn’t have voted for Biden.”

Jami Watson
48 • LEONARD, TEX.

“Felt amazing to be voting for President Trump again! [I want the country to] become stronger economically, more patriotic and [have a] stronger military.”

John Pollinger
68 • ORMOND BEACH, FLA.
This felt like the most important election in which I voted.

“I had been a Republican voter most my life. Now with no party affiliation, I have voted for a Democrat for president of the United States for the first time ever. This madness must stop.”

Zach Ferko
18 • CANTON, OHIO

“I just turned 18 in March, so this was the first general election I’ve been able to vote in. I feel like my vote really matters this year. I’m a part of real history right now, and that’s something special. We’ve been begged to vote for the past two years, so it was good to finally answer the call.”

Where do you want to see the country go after 2020?
Tyler Darlington
19 • HILLSBOROUGH, N.C.

“As radically far left as we can push it — UBI, universal health care, free food for the hungry, free homes for the homeless. There’s no reason for people to suffer when we have the resources to help them. I want to see a return to science and for us to take action against climate change and to handle this pandemic with clarity and safety rather than sacrificing people to make a few extra bucks for the billionaires. It feels like people have forgotten compassion. I’d like us to remember.”

Therman Boddie
42 • BURLISON, TENN.
(Courtesy of Therman Boddie)

“I couldn’t wait until the first day of early voting started in Tennessee. For the first time, I felt that if I didn’t voice my opinion through this ballot that the future of our nation would be lost. Everyone is divided. I want to see people come together. People are so divided right now that whomever wins will have their hands full.”

[How people are obsessing over results (virtually) on election night]

M. Richard
66 • NEWPORT, R.I.
I want a return to sanity.

“Greater fairness, less racism, less income inequality, less oligarchy, more democracy, and a determined, science-driven effort against the spread of the coronavirus.”

Johanna Bonet
45 • APEX, N.C.

“I want to move away from so much hatred division and anger. I want the U.S. to be the leader of the world for our future generations.”

Rosemarie Waldron
88 • RUTHERFORD, N.J.
(Courtesy of Rosemarie Waldron)

“I voted like my life depended on it. After 2020, the first thing I want to see is this pandemic come under control, that a vaccine will be discovered. Then I want to see a government that functions for the welfare of all the people instead of one that just looks out for themselves.”

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: November 03, 2020 at 03:25PM

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