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Patricia Lay-Dorsey | profile | all galleries >> campaign & election 2008 >> USA Election Day 2008 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

USA Election Day 2008

On November 4, 2008 I was at my polling station by 7:15 a.m., not to vote but to document this historic election. I'd voted by absentee ballot a week ago, so that left me free to spend the day in any way I chose. That meant being a photographer and an enthusiastic Obama supporter. After taking photos of my polling station, I drove over to my local Obama Campaign headquarters. By the way, there were 52 Obama campaign offices in the Metro Detroit area! He ran a VERY well organized campaign.

At the headquarters I made phone calls urging Obama-leaning voters to go to the polls. I also went around taking photos. Surprise, surprise! Around 11:30 a.m. I drove over to the polling station at a local Detroit high school to see and document what was going on there.

I did know there had been about 2200 folks in line at the high school soon after the polls had opened at 7 a.m. One man who had been there told us an amazing story that I Iater heard verified on the radio news. Apparently a pregnant woman's water broke while she was waiting in line and she refused to leave until they allowed her to vote! But when I got to the high school the lines were short and moving rapidly.

What happened next was unexpected. I'd driven back to Obama's headquarters to get some brochures for one of the Obama volunteers working the high school polls when my always-faithful wheelchair accessible minivan started acting up. I was lucky to make it to my local service station where the mechanic diagnosed a blown coolant pipe. He thought they'd have to order the part and warned me it might not come in until tomorrow. So I scooted home.

That was when I downloaded and prepared the photos I'd taken during the day. After a couple hours, I got good news. My minivan was ready. A young man named Logan picked me up in my van. On our two mile ride back to the service station we talked politics. What else? And I was gratified to see that this 18 year-old undecided voter was open to hearing the truth about several of his misconceptions about Obama. By the time we arrived at the service station, I think Obama had one more vote. Sometimes having car trouble can be a blessing in disguise.

I ended the day by standing--OK, sitting in my scooter--in front of my local polling station holding up an Obama/Biden sign. I felt privileged to be even a small part of this amazing effort to elect America's first black President, something I could never have imagined would happen in my lifetime. I only wish my parents were still alive to see this day.

I'm writing this while listening to the early results of the election, and so far the news is great! Ah yes, my absolute trust that Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States is being borne out. What a magnificent moment in our history!
t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514951.09isNP6X.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514956.HP1XWN1v.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514955.iXtv3Es1.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514953.1mU6unRz.jpg
t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514961.AFpUfPVM.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514958.7opBDBeW.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514962.6IkosEwz.jpg outside east side Detroit Obama Campaign Office
outside east side Detroit Obama Campaign Office
Mike from Chicago & Tracy
Mike from Chicago & Tracy
t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514968.03BQdswo.jpg volunteers call Obama-leaning voters to urge them to go to the polls
volunteers call Obama-leaning voters to urge them to go to the polls
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t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514973.AKVhyieU.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514976.ga8mBU7Z.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514977.eWJW4o0H.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105514980.S3gvsetE.jpg
Eddie Hooker, 74 year-old volunteer
Eddie Hooker, 74 year-old volunteer
photo by an Obama volunteer
photo by an Obama volunteer
t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105515187.OeaTqUvH.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105515188.qzUXPd1c.jpg
t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105515190.9GZ7BCSG.jpg t5%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105515191.UW0md2Nj.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105515192.INgSBEWH.jpg outside Detroit's Finney High School polling station
outside Detroit's Finney High School polling station
t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105515194.TDxOQoVf.jpg t1%2f37%2f726937%2f4%2f105515195.45GAQFfJ.jpg short lines at 11:30 a.m.
short lines at 11:30 a.m.
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outside east side Democratic Party headquarters
outside east side Democratic Party headquarters