Why you should care

Because we’ve got our finger on the pulse.


Taylor Mayol
Las Vegas, Nev.
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 1:51am EST

Nevadans are sending the first Latino to the House of Representatives and the first Latina to the Senate. Despair might be reigning among Democrats nationwide, but right here right now, Nevadan Dems are celebrating big wins for their party. Newly minted republican Ruben Kihuen, son of a farm worker and house cleaner, speaks as the crowd chants “si se puede.”


Matt Foley
Las Vegas, Nev.
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 1:28am EST

Michael, Courtney and Fran are Trumpers of varying degree. As a father, Michael respects the family Trump has raised and believes he can “implement a great business model in America.” He also appreciates the GOP’s commitment to the military and thinks of Trump as a “man’s man.”

Courtney has supported Trump for the past few months, a decision based on religion, believing that the GOP respects Christianity more than the Democrats do.

And Fran, well, Fran doesn’t know what to think about a President Trump. She’s afraid that his brash antics could cause potential strife post-election but says that “would happen no matter what.” She doesn’t think that is reason enough not to support Trump.

A Trio of Nevada Trumpers

Three friends for Trump — for different reasons. From left: Michael, Courtney and Fran, at the GOP Nevada election party.

Source Matt Foley

Taylor Mayol
Las Vegas, Nev.
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 1:22pm EST

Joey Marzinsky, 29, leans over and puts his arm around Sean Vangorder, 30, head of the Las Vegas Steering Committee for the Human Rights Campaign. They’re trying to stay optimistic but it’s “disheartening,” says Marzinsky. “You hope America is smarter than that.” Vangorder says he thought a campaign ran on love instead of hate would win and that he had “so much faith.” He didn’t plan for this, he says. But as an LGBT organization, he says they’ve now got to “go forth with a fight.” Moments later, the song ”One Love” starts playing in the background.

Nevada Dems — Lean on Me

Joey Marzinsky (left) and Sean Vangorder, head of the Las Vegas Steering Committee for the Human Rights Campaign.

Source Taylor Mayol


Sanjena Sathian
Mumbai, India
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 1:00am EST

Talk among American expats here in India is how best to extend visas. The bartenders are issuing apologies and free food.


Daniel Malloy
Luang Prabang, Laos
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 12:52am EST

As the Government of Canada’s immigration website reportedly crashed, American expats started getting semi-serious inquiries from home. Tara Gujadhur said her brother and mother asked about moving in with her in Luang Prabang, Laos. “As an Ohioan and a woman of color, I’m devastated at what the vote is saying so far,” Gujadhur said as the shocking results were rolling in. “Whatever the end result, we’re seeing a huge number of people supporting a culture of xenophobia, misogyny, aggression, and hate. … This is an America I don’t recognize or want to accept.”


Taylor Mayol
Las Vegas, Nev.
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 12:40pm EST

Suddenly a stream of people in red shirts marches into the Dem election night party. It’s the Culinary Workers Union, and they’re chanting “Yes We Can” as the rest of the auditorium chimes in. It’s a moment of joy for an anxious crowd. The 57,000-member union is responsible, in many regards, for turning out the vote for Democrats in Nevada and securing a Hillary win in the Silver State


Matt Foley
Las Vegas, Nev.
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 12:05am EST

Sheila Matherly and Steve — “uh, just Steve” — are enjoying date night at the Nevada GOP election party. Steve is an independent conservative from San Francisco. “I don’t want to be on The List,” he says. First name it is. Sheila Matherly is a Las Vegas native, and she hates HRC. “I am a woman, but I hate Hillary. I am Not With Her!” Both of them are surprised by Trump’s current lead; they thought it would be much closer, but Steve “saw this coming.” Like most folks here at the South Point Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, Steve and Sheila are proud to be a part of “the movement,” and history in the making. Steve assures me that “California is still out there, this thing’s not over.” He’s right, there is still time for a Clinton comeback, but, two hours after doors opened, the right-wing party is rolling in Vegas.

NV GOP — Isn't It Romantic?

Viva, Las Vegas; viva, romance. Sheila Matherly and “just Steve.”

Source Matt Foley

Matt Foley
Las Vegas, Nev.
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 12:04am EST

Brent Peterson is a truck driver from Nevada who campaigned and voted early for the first time because he wanted to “join a cause for change.” While surprised by Trump’s large lead — “we just need one more!” — Peterson is encouraged that it’s proof that the rest of the country wants positive change as well. “We don’t need more of the same. This is a movement. I never do this, but I wanted to be part of history.” Peterson became a fan of Trump because “he speaks his mind, he’s not afraid, and he’ll support Middle America.” Soon enough, Doug will know if his premonitions are correct.

Nevada trucker and Trump supporter Brent Peterson campaigned this election — a first.

Nevada trucker Brent Peterson campaigned for the first time, caught up in Trump’s promise of change.

Source Matt Foley


Taylor Mayol
Las Vegas, Nev.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 11:52pm EST

These four women — members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Democratic Congress — are leading the cheers up front at the Dem party in Vegas. They voted “yes” all around on the ballot initiatives and are still holding out for a Clinton win. “We know she’s going to win,” says Kate Recto (far left).

Congress at the Dems' Las Vegas party

The Asian American and Pacific Islander Democratic Congress at the Las Vegas election-night party.

Source Taylor Mayol


Leslie Nguyen-Okwu
Charlotte, N.C.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 11:47pm EST

“You can’t trust Hillary Clinton because if you turn your back, she’ll stab you,” a five-year-old tells me as he casually sips his orange soda and chows down on cake at Antioch Church. Icing from his celebratory cake is smeared all over his lips. He’s inside one of the few Black churches to endorse Trump in North Carolina, going against the flow of Black voters across the country who overwhelmingly got behind Clinton this election season. Amongst a crowd who lingered after evening prayer on Tuesday night, the mood is jubilant, cheers abound and an “I told you so” smirk is plastered on everyone’s faces. Rakim Faulkner, a twentysomething Black voter in Charlotte, has “taken junk” on Facebook as his frenemies rallied against him when he endorsed Trump. “I’m so happy. I’m Trump’s biggest fan.” Now, he’s busy trashing them as Trump takes North Carolina and a few other key states. “The reason I jumped on the bandwagon was that he’s not a politician, and politicians always lie. Behind him, joy slowly spreads across Katrina Roger’s face. Utter silence as she takes in the news. “You try not to second guess yourself, but you know?” Rogers says, her hands over her heart. Months of tension and mudslinging are over at this church, and finally, “we can all move on.”

Antioch Church member is pulling for Trump this election in North Carolina.

A member of the Antioch Church, which has endorsed Trump, in Charlotte, N.C.

Source Leslie Nguyen-Okwu

Natalie Roe
Athens, Ga.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 11:30pm EST

Melissa Link never thought her Democratic vote would matter in the state of Georgia because it’s long been a throwaway vote. And although Georgia won’t turn blue this year, the District 3 commissioner disagrees that third-party abandonment helped Trump in the polls. In fact, more than ever, she believes that voting for a third-party candidate will make a difference in traditionally conservative states. “The reason we have two shitty candidates at the top of the ballot is because we have a broken two-party system,” Link says. “Donald Trump should have never been able to infiltrate the Republican Party.” She believes that if America were to see a multiple party system, much like Europe, people would be forced to compromise because the institution would be appealing to more than an “either-or” stance. But further than compromise, Link believes third-party voting will incite a more informed voting population. “Like they do in Europe,” Link notes. “Voters are forced to because you’re not just giving them a true-false question … [instead] they have a real, multiple-choice test when they go to the ballot box.” While this election has drowned in gut reactions toward both parties, it has also heard names like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein around the dinner table. Link points to a poll run by local elementary school, Chase Elementary. “More of them voted for third-party candidates than Donald Trump,” Link says. “That’s the future. Children are our future, and when you have elementary school children aware of third-party candidates … that’s says a lot about where we’re going in America.”


Taylor Mayol
Las Vegas, Nev.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 11:28pm EST

At the Democratic election night party in Las Vegas, Nevadans erupt with joy as early tallies roll across the screen favoring down-ballot Dems. The supporters? Dressed decidedly more formally than those at Trump’s party. Despite Trump’s sudden gains, the crowd here remains effusive. After all, Nevada’s future is at stake as much as the country’s as a whole. Background checks? Looks like those are pulling ahead, too.


Nick Fouriezos
Tampa Bay, Fla.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 11:05pm EST

Gathered at the Hideaway bar in downtown Tampa, Donald Trump supporters crossed their fingers through every swing state call that went their way, cheering loudly and standing on chairs to celebrate wins in North Carolina and Ohio. “This is a once-in-a- lifetime chance to take our country back,” one supporter whispered, as if saying it too loud would dash it away. But the real prize was Florida and, as the night dragged on and Trump’s lead didn’t abate, they began to wonder why the networks still hadn’t called the Sunshine State. Finally, though, Florida was called for Trump – which prompted immediate chants of “lock her up” and “drain the swamp.”


Daniel Malloy
Luang Prabang, Laos
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 10:48pm EST

On a drizzly morning in this small tourist town life went on mostly unaffected by the events across the world. The town’s largely left-leaning group of expats tuned in to the stunning election returns during their workday. “I hadn’t properly considered the outcome of Trump as president until I opened the news sites one hour ago, and I’m devastated,” said Marie Vahl, who is from Greenland. She added that she is not giving up hope that Hillary Clinton will pull off the nailbiter victory, but if Trump does take the White House, “This will be a horrible drawback, not only in the U.S. and for the citizens but also for the world as we’re dealing with several high-stake conflicts that will be shaped by the next US president.”


Matt Foley
Las Vegas, Nev.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 10:38pm EST

With Donald Trump’s surprising lead carrying into Pacific Time Zone polling closures, Nevada’s outcome becomes increasingly important. The Silver State’s six electoral votes could potentially decide our next president-elect. Seventy percent of all ballots in Nevada were cast early, the third-highest figure in the nation behind only Washington and Oregon (both mail-only states). Democrats led early voting by 72,000 (narrowly up from 2012) but, as we are seeing across the country, Tuesday voting brings the drama.

The largest factor in Nevada’s outcome will be the direction and Tuesday’s turnout of Latino voters. Hispanics here — led by Clark County’s four primarily Latino precincts — polled in record fashion during early voting. Nevada historically has skewed red, but the state is notoriously difficult to poll given the large population of Hispanics. Seventeen percent of the voting population in Nevada is Latino, most residing in Clark County, and many are employed in the casino industry. Odd work hours and a lack of household landlines mean that even the most advanced polls tend to miss large numbers of Latino voters during polling.

The Culinary Union Local 226 in Las Vegas hopes to mobilize its massive Latino community and rock the vote blue on Tuesday night. The CU is 57,000 workers strong, 52 percent of whom are Hispanic. Political director Yvanna Cancela says that they began mobilizing 18 months ago to “prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency.” The 28-year-old Northwestern grad had all hands — more than 300 pairs — on deck Tuesday, knocking on doors and driving registered voters to the polls. Local 266 is also responsible for the infamous Taco Truck protest at Trump Hotel during the third presidential debate. If Clinton manages a tight Nevada victory, the Culinary Union should pencil in a presidential visit.

GOP faithful watch the results in Las Vegas

Boisterous GOP faithful watch the results in Las Vegas.

Source Taylor Mayol

James Watkins
Charlotte, N.C.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 10:32pm EST

Meanwhile, early voting reports that bear good news for Trump supporters have already affected the markets. The Dow 30 futures market is down more than 600 points, bringing back memories of market crashes in the days following the Brexit vote in the U.K. The Mexican peso is also hitting record lows on currency markets. Over the past few weeks, the stock market has generally responded favorably to jumps in Clinton’s poll numbers, as well as specific stocks in industries such as solar power and health care jumping after her strong debate performances.


Taylor Mayol
Las Vegas, Nev.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 10:21pm EST

The GOP election party in Vegas is electric. The tables are packed with Trump supporters, and every time his numbers flash across the two giant projectors, the crowd erupts in cheers. The party goers are on the older side, and their enthusiasm rivals any first-time voter. Overheard in the restroom, in a thick accent: “I really hope Trump wins!”


James Watkins
Charlotte, N.C.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 10:21pm EST

The race is still too close to call here in North Carolina, but early results suggest that Trump is on course to take the state, and the Republican incumbent senator Richard Burr on course hold his seat in one of the Democrats’ key Senate targets. The excitement is building at the pro-Trump election party at the Antioch Road to Glory International Ministries Church, where the cake and the soda are in short supply. Some members of the predominantly black congregation were alienated by the church’s decision to publicly endorse Trump, but a couple dozen have turned out tonight sporting Make America Great Again hats, eyes glued to the Fox News coverage. They include Edward Reese and his wife, Martha. Edward says that Trump’s victory has been prophesized, and that Clinton is “against God” because of her positions on abortion, gay marriage and bathrooms. “God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the same reasons,” he says.


Jack Doyle
London, England
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 9:47pm EST

Fernanda, an Argentinian who grew up in Maryland, has worked in advertising in London for nine years. Lately, she says, she’s been thinking about heading back stateside with her boyfriend Michael — she has siblings in Los Angeles and wants a change of scenery from tonight’s typical icy November rain. “Everyone at home kept taking about Trump like he’s some kind of monster, but I didn’t really take them seriously,” she remembers. “Then I realized how different people in our neighboring states were starting to seem. Where I go next now completely depends on this election.”

Pondering a stateside relocation

Election results may determine whether Fernanda, an Argentinian who grew up in Maryland and now lives in London, and her boyfriend Michael head back to the States.

Source Jack Doyle


Taylor Mayol
Las Vegas, Nev.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 9:42pm EST

Matt Foley and I are posted up at the GOP election night party in Las Vegas as the polls are about to close. We’ve got Hillary as the Joker and Donald as the Ace of Hearts (Vegas theme anyone?) and, of course, lots of red Make America Great Again hats. As we wait to see who will score Nevada’s six electoral votes, we’re keeping on eye on the down-ballot ticket, too. Two of the races — the 3rd Congressional District and the Senate race — rank in the top 5 most expensive campaigns nationwide, which means voters are getting bombarded with political ads on TV and the radio. Some are so sick of it they tell me they’re “weary” or “exhausted.” And, in some Vegas neighborhoods, there is not a single yard sign to be found. Silent protest against the barrage?

Waiting for the results at the Las Vegas GOP election party.

The stage at the GOP Las Vegas election party — will it be winner’s Champagne or loser’s beer?

Source Matt Foley

Sanjena Sathian
Mumbai, India
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 9:23pm EST

En route to my election watch party, I explain to my auto (Tuk Tuk) driver that today America may elect its first woman president. “So late?” he asks. “We did all this so long ago.”


Nick Fouriezos
Tampa, Fla.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 9:17pm EST

They lit up the poll booths. Florida voters overwhelmingly approved the state’s Amendment 2, making it the first state in the South to adopt a (true) medical marijuana law. While others have made cannabis oil legal, this was the first to allow distribution of marijuana for cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, AIDS and a slew of other illnesses to toke up and heal up. “Better late than never,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. The marijuana industry responded positively to the news, with Jeffrey Zucker of Green Lion Partners saying that this could show other states “what cannabis can truly do to raise state wellness as a whole,” in comments provided to OZY. Massroots CEO Isaac Dietrich, whose social media platform connects cannabis users, added that the Florida medical marijuana market “alone could be hundreds of millions of dollars.”


Taylor Mayol
Las Vegas, Nev.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 9:16pm EST

The day after Hillary Clinton announced her run for the White House, 18-year-old Lynnette Hull tracked down her state’s democratic campaign rep on Twitter, asking how she could volunteer. Ever since, she’s been pounding the pavement for Clinton, knocking on doors and acting as one of Las Vegas’ super-volunteers. The University of Nevada freshman is now studying political science and when I ask her what she’ll do after the election, she launches into a speech about how much more work there is to do

Teenager Lynnette Hull rallies the Las Vegas Democratic troops.

Lynnette Hull, an 18-year-old Las Vegas super-volunteer for Clinton.

Source Taylor Mayol

Sanjena Sathian
Mumbai, India
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 9:05pm EST

Things are just waking up here, and on many Indians’ minds is what on earth to do with the buckets full of cash PM Narendra Modi just rendered irrelevant. In Mumbai, the almost entirely blue expat bubbles are quite a scene, setting up haphazard-watch parties in coffee shops and coworking spaces to the confusion of locals.


Fiona Zublin
Paris, France
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 6:46pm EST

Here in Paris I just found a Bernie supporter – well, a half-French, half-British man with a Feel the Bern button who says he’s really disappointed Bernie isn’t the candidate. He says he understands why people don’t like Hillary Clinton, but that she seems like “more of a real candidate” than Donald Trump. Meanwhile, CNN is talking about big Trump numbers in Indiana and Kentucky while the Americans in the audience quickly explain to their French friends why that doesn’t mean Trump’s necessarily in the lead.


Jack Doyle
Oxford, England
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 6:44pm EST

London’s Popbitch Presidential Party: Electile Dysfunction is in some ways a stressed-out American’s dream. An election-themed bonanza in the heart of London’s trendiest district, Shoreditch, it’s more party than election night here. There’s drinking and games like Toss the Toupee, but no one seems too worried about first polls closing. One New Yorker said he’d come over just for the night. “I wanted to escape to a place that’s as much like New York as possible,” he explained.

grabber prop london

Election Day fun in London — but what’s in the barrel and what’s with the wand?

Source Jack Doyle

There’s a mix of apathy and uncertainty underneath the party atmosphere. One bouncer, a Black man from East London, cheerfully sported a Trump mask. He seemed surprised that Americans would have a strong preference for either candidate and shrugged when asked how he felt about Trump. “To be honest, I don’t really care one way or another,” he confessed. “I’m just working, and they look pretty alike from here.” A gay couple from Singapore and Hong Kong agreed, saying both candidates are equally bad. Some American ex-pats were more defiant. Whitney and Natalie came to the party dressed as suffragettes, and say they wanted to show some pride as Americans abroad in the face of the Brits’ blasé attitude.


Fiona Zublin
Paris, France
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 6:04pm EST

The biggest laugh of the night so far here at an election party in Paris came at the incredibly bombastic CNN intro, complete with action-movie music. Despite one guy who keeps yelling “F*** you, Trump” at the screen, the crowd here is pretty calm – and seemingly pretty confident of a Clinton victory. Surprisingly, people are clearing out of the main poll watching area just as the poll results start coming in – though that may have to do with people deciding to get the last Métro home rather than wait out the entire race.


Nick Fouriezos
Tampa, Fla.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2:20pm EST

They’ve lost that loving feeling. A Morning Consult & Politico national exit poll conducted online early today shows 85 percent of respondents saying they just want this election to be over. Meanwhile, 72 percent say they’re anxious and nervous, and half say that they’re angry while only a quarter say that they’re happy. Forty-four percent think the country’s financial situation is worse than four years ago, compared to 32 percent who think its better.

bev

Bev and Matt Minardi have different views on “draining the swamp.”

Source Nick Fouriezos

In Florida, the unemployment rate is actually a few points below the already-low national average of 4.9 percent, and Republican Gov. Charlie Crist has lauded the jobs his administration has brought to the region as a sign of economic recovery. But there are signs that many people are also dropping out of the workforce, and independents are more depressed and angry than Republicans or Democrats, according to the poll — a sentiment felt in Florida by Bernie Sanders primary supporter Matt Minardi, who is ready for it all to end. “I’m just frustrated,” the 19-year-old says, and he plans to vote today for a third-party candidate. His mother, Bev Minardi, is an avid Trump supporter. “I’m all for draining the swamp,” she says, referring to Trump’s promises to decrease government corruption. She points out that a large part of the Sanders pitch was similar. “And Matt, he wanted to drain the swamp too,” she adds.

I’m still reeling from the shock vote to exit the EU, my thoughts are that an equally stupefying election result could beset all American friends (and fiends).

— Michael Rylance, 51, Manchester, England

Matt Foley
Las Vegas, Nev.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 1:33pm EST

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit against the Clark County Registrar alleging illegal voting practices. The lawsuit aims to seize some early votes cast in Clark County, particularly at several Las Vegas polling stations. At the Trump rally in Reno on Saturday, Nevada GOP chairman Michael McDonald argued that pollsters stayed open to illegally allow “a certain group” time to vote. Clark County sports a nearly 30 percent Hispanic population and Las Vegas, in particular, has more than 29,000 Latino Culinary Union members employed in the casino industry. Odd work hours are the norm in Vegas, something that could explain the evening rush to polling stations. Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin says that no early voting polling stations extended hours; some stations simply allowed Nevadans in line by the 7:00pm deadline to cast their vote.

UPDATE: Hours after news broke of the Trump campaign’s lawsuit against the Clark County Registrar, a Nevada judge denied the campaign’s request to “preserve and separate” late-hour ballots from several sites in the battleground county. Some experts surmise that the court filing could be a strategic tactic by the Trump campaign in the event that Nevada’s results Tuesday night are contested.

We the people … must take in consideration what is best for our country …. We must elect Donald J. Trump as our next POTUS.

— Tom LaFollette Sr, 74, Kewanna, In

Leslie Nguyen-Okwu
Charlotte, N.C.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 12:58pm EST

In Charlotte, the pickets signs were pitched into the ground yesterday and are out in full force now on election day, as polling places teem with voters all over the Tar Heel State. In battleground territory, the radio airwaves, television channels and inboxes are chock full of political ads — to the point of madness, says Diane Stemson who is thrilled to have her “mailbox to get back to normal.” Election fatigue has hit this state hard. Last night, Hillary Clinton swung through with Lady Gaga and Jon Bon Jovi at a midnight rally, as were Donald Trump and his ragtag team of surrogates in Raleigh. Both candidates have visited the state a total of 12 times since June. You’d think they were permanent residents of North Carolina, not presidential candidates, says Ralph, who declined to give his last name. He’s not excited for any of the candidates on his ballot and has “begrudgingly” turned out to the polls this morning at 9am. “Politics is too big of a machine. You’re going to change one set of rascals for another pair of rascals.”


Jack Doyle
Oxford, England
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 11:13am EST

Mary George, an Oxford undergrad, will stay up late into the night following the U.S. election.

Like most Oxford students, Mary George will be closely monitoring the U.S. elections.

Source Jack Doyle

The afternoon is cold and quiet in Radcliffe Square, the heart of Oxford University. In a few hours’ time, many of Oxford’s 20,000 students – nearly 1,500 of whom are American – will pack into traditional common rooms to watch the U.S. election unfold overnight. Standing outside the library and eating lunch with one eye on his phone, Jacob Pagano, a visiting student from Amherst College, says he wishes he was home in the thick of it right now. He thinks the Brits still have a fascination with the larger-than-life characters of American politics that’s slightly detached from reality. “Everyone seems more willing to joke about it than to talk about it for real,” Pagano muses of the British friends he’s made here.

With people growing increasingly weary of 2016 post-Brexit, some jokes ring a little hollow. “I’m planning on moving to Mars after today!” one passing student calls out. Mary George, an Oxford undergraduate, says she doesn’t know what to expect anymore. Like most Brits, she expects Clinton to win. “But then again,” she adds, ”I don’t think anyone really expected us to leave the E.U.”


Natalie Roe
Athens, Ga.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 8:00am EST

Polls are now open in Athens, Georgia, but lines remain short after the Peach State saw record-shattering early voting turnout last week. For first-time voter Caroline Sandercock, it wasn’t the presidential election that had her casting her vote this morning. “Honestly I didn’t really want to vote,” she said. “But I was convinced because I wanted to vote no for Amendment 1.” Georgia voters face a ballot initiative today that will have a profound effect on primary education. Governor Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District Proposal asks, “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?”

Caroline Sandercock proudly flashes her voter sticker.

Caroline Sandercock proudly flashes her voter sticker.

Source Natalie Roe

If passed, poor performing schools can be taken away from local authority and placed in the Opportunity School District or OSD, overseen by a governor-appointed superintendent. The OSD will have jurisdiction over as many as 20 new failing schools per year (maximum of 100 schools) and will have the authority to replace faculty where needed, convert facilities into charter schools run by the state or, ultimately, close doors as a last resort. Currently, 139 schools across 22 school districts are “failing” standards and could be eligible for the OSD. According to Athens activist Tim Denson, Amendment 1 will be the biggest thing on Georgian’s minds besides Hillary vs. Trump.


Nicholas Fouriezos
Tampa, Fla.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 7:30am EST

Everyone knows families with immigrant ties will help decide the fate of Florida and other key swing states. But which immigrants? The melting pot of America includes diversity beyond the easy Latinx-African-American-Asian-American splits. Take Iraqi-Americans Surag and Tay Abraham, who say that they supported Bernie in the primary and will probably vote for Hillary Clinton, but skeptically. “When she was secretary of state, she didn’t do enough for the U.S. Army,” says the former military contractor. The Middle Eastern pair say that many of their Arab compatriots support Trump because his strongman talk doesn’t scare them — they have far scarier dictators, suggests Tay — and their peers “don’t trust the foreign policy anymore for the United States. They want to try something different,” Surag says.

After waiting an hour to see Bon Jovi and Tim Kaine in St. Petersburg this weekend, Bosnian couple Mariana and Sinad said they disagree with Trump on just about everything: race, immigration, women. “You can’t close down the borders, but you cannot of course let everybody in,” says Mariana, who has been phone banking for Clinton despite her somewhat broken English. Sinad’s number one priority? “An economy that works — and works for us.”


Nicholas Fouriezos
Tampa, Fla.
Monday, Nov. 7, 11:52pm EST

The numbers don’t lie — as long as you get the right ones. Early turnout among Hispanics increased in Florida by over 100 percent since last year, according to political scientist Gabriel Sanchez of Latino Decisions, and the targeted Latino research firm is predicting the most lopsided race for that demographic in history: an 80-20 national split in favor of Clinton. Their tracking poll – which they claim is far better than most in the biz because it interviews respondents in both Spanish and English, and has sampled over 800 Latinos in Florida alone, far more than exit polls will Tuesday — ran up until the election’s eve and shows increased voter enthusiasm down the final stretch at a time when Latinos make up 18 percent of the eligible electorate in Florida.

There is a divide, which experts say is often on income lines: My middle-class Uber driver Bonnie, who is part Colombian, said she’s agonized this election even though most of her Hispanic friends are conservative and back Trump. Meanwhile, Ana Ojanuga, a Nicaguaran-American has rallied her neighbors and relatives, promising free rides to the polls in her Honda pilot. “I can pack up a lot of people in there,” she says, laughing. As a bank loans manager who has seen employees with decades-less experience get pay raises over her, Ojanuga is inspired by Clinton’s promise of equal pay for equal work. One prediction: Voting on Election Day will be crazy. At a nearby voting location, Ojanuga was met by Trump protestors who were wearing prison garb, blonde wigs and a “take me to jail” sign – and that precinct was at the local church! “There is going to be a lot of pressure on people who come in to vote,” Ojanuga says.


Taylor Mayol
Las Vegas, Nev.
Monday, Nov. 7, 11:41pm EST

Yvanna Cancela might be in her 20s, but she’s become something of a political force this election. The Miami native is the political director for the Culinary Union Local 226 in Las Vegas, Nevada — a 57,000-member union, which includes guest room attendants and is 56 percent Latino. With what’s looking like historic Latino voter turnout nationwide, many are turning to Nevada to see if the notoriously difficult-to-poll slice of the electorate will deliver Nevada safely into Hillary’s hands. “We helped over 2,200 people apply for citizenship within the first three months of the year, we registered about 8,000 of our members to vote. We have over 300 people … knocking on doors and making phone calls to make sure people know the importance of the election and that we take on Donald Trump at the ballot box tomorrow,” says Cancela.

Yvanna cancela

Yvanna Cancela

Source Taylor Mayol/OZY

On Friday, Nevada’s last day of early voting, long lines at the Mexican supermarket Cardenas Market made national news after the polling place had to extend hours to around 10 pm to accommodate everyone in line by the cutoff. Over 17 percent of eligible voters in Nevada are Latino (Latinos make up nearly 30 percent of the state’s population) and they might not just impact the presidency, but the Senate, too. The former Nevada attorney general, Catherine Cortez Masto, is set to become the first Latina in the Senate if she beats her opponent Dr. Joe Heck.


Nicholas Fouriezos
Tampa, Fla.
Monday, Nov. 7, 11:05pm EST

They’re coming from near and far. Jeremy Perrelle was backpacking through Europe and the Middle East for six months during Donald Trump’s rise to the Republican nomination but cut his Euro-trip short to be an unpaid volunteer for the Clinton campaign. “I came back because I am a little frightened – covertly, if not overtly, he’s appealing to some of the more nefarious elements in our society,” says the 33-year-old former schoolteacher, who adds that he’s been working pretty much nonstop the past four days. Michael Dean, a 31-year-old chief of staff back home across the pond, took vacation time to volunteer in Tampa as well. “We just had the Brexit vote at home. We woke up the next morning thinking that it was all a bad dream, and what to do next, and I didn’t want you guys thinking the same thing after this election.” When a Welshman shows up at their door, Dean says people are “really grateful,” and he’s lived with a local Clinton backer. “Many people in the United Kingdom and world are concerned about what’s going on here, sort of anxious. So I’m just coming over here to do my bit.”

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Jeremy Perrelle at the Hillary Clinton headquarters in Tampa

Source OZY/Nick Fouriezos

Matt Foley
Las Vegas, Nev.
Monday, Nov. 7, 11:03pm EST

Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, just off the Strip in Paradise, Nevada was more lightly trafficked than this reporter expected on the eve of election night. Several patrons sat scattered in the DJT restaurant as a few others perused the Trump Store, photographing themselves trying on “Make America Great Again” caps of various colors.

Overt election excitement was null, the only mention coming from an elderly Latina cashier at the Trump Store reminding customers to vote. “Tomorrow, we’ll have a new president!” Partisanship remains uninterpreted. On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board served Donald Trump’s Las Vegas corporation with a “cease and desist” order relating to the corporation’s unfair treatment of workers after 500 housekeepers and servers, mostly female immigrants, ignored intimidation and voted for union representation last December.

Trump International Hotel Las Vegas

All quiet on the Vegas front this election eve at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas.

Source Matt Foley/OZY

Taylor Mayol
Las Vegas, Nev.
Monday, Nov. 7, 10:41pm EST

Last night in Vegas two people were shot crossing a pedestrian bridge on the Strip. Tomorrow Nevadans will decide whether they want to approve or deny background checks for gun purchases in the Silver State by voting on the Nevada Background Checks for Gun Purchases Initiative, more popularly known here as Question 1. If passed, online and in-person sales will require background checks. Polls show support for the measure is around 61 percent, which suggests that it may pass. According to Ballotpedia, the pro background checks campaign has received around three times as much campaign fundraising as the no campaign — nearly $20 million to about $6.5 million. Brittany Farrow, a 27-year-old volunteer with Moms Demand Action says, “If we can do this in Wild West Nevada, it will serve as motivation for other states.” The University of Nevada at Las Vegas student says she first became involved with the organization after the Sandy Hook shooting, when she was pregnant with her first son at age 23. “I couldn’t even think straight,” she says of the day of the shooting. “I couldn’t fathom that happening to me, I didn’t want to wait for it to happen.” So she started volunteering, imploring other gun owners like herself that background checks make sense. Growing up in a gun-loving household in New Mexico, she says, meant her support for this issue has caused some tension with family and friends, but ultimately, she hopes, she can make a dent in all of the “polarization” around the issue.


Natalie Roe
Athens, Ga.
Monday, Nov. 7, 9:08pm EST

Since 2000, 1.5 million people have moved to Georgia. Of these, 1.2 million are people of color. This huge demographic shift has the Peach State on the cusp of seeing minorities become the majority for the first time since Reconstruction. In 2000, roughly 63 percent of Georgians were white. Today, that figure has dropped to an estimated 54 percent, the result of the Latino population growing from 5 percent to more than 9 percent, the African-American population swelling from 29 percent to 31 percent and the Asian population increasing from 2 percent to 4 percent. Tim Denson, an Athens activist and the president of Athens For Everyone, predicts that this rapid shift will be reflected by more than Georgia’s 16 electoral votes and points to positions farther down the ballot. Gwinnett, a longtime Republican county, could elect the first Hispanic woman to serve in the Georgia General Assembly. Brenda Lopez defeated fellow Democrat Jaime Trevari in the state House of Representatives District 99 and is running unopposed in the state’s general election. According to Denson, groundwork is the most integral way to mobilize this new minority vote in Georgia. He believes that stories like Lopez’s not only rally a different voter demographic but inspire organizations to spend time and resources on previously untapped minority voters, which could propel and potentially cement Georgia’s status as a battleground territory.


Leslie Nguyen-Okwu
Charlotte, N.C.
Monday, Nov. 7, 6:55pm EST

Can the Antioch Road to Glory International Ministry mind the Dems v. GOP gap?

Can the Antioch Road to Glory International Ministry mind the Dems v. GOP gap?

Source James Watkins

This is a church divided. Some say religion and politics ought not to mix, but Antioch Road to Glory International Ministry risked it in July by publicly endorsing Donald Trump. Since then, the historically Black church in Charlotte has faced the ire of outsiders and even some members of the congregation. Twenty of the 200 members — mostly women, Pastor Thomas Rogers says — have left the church. Rogers has seen his home shot at, his car vandalized and his congregation attacked. So far, 95 percent of the state’s early Black voters have cast their vote for Hillary.

Dubbing Clinton as the “anti-Christ” and referring to Trump’s “business acumen,” 73-year-old Rogers is staying on message. “We can’t blame Trump for his wrongdoings, when we have done wrong ourselves” as sinners, he says.

In a dark corner of the church is a pile of dusty Trump signs.


James Watkins
Charlotte, N.C.
Monday, Nov. 7, 6:20pm EST

Demi Lovato’s “What’s Wrong With Being Confident” played on the loudspeaker as we waited for VP candidate Tim Kaine to take the stage. He was introduced by Roy Cooper, Democratic candidate for the governor of North Carolina.

Tim Kaine, his wife Anne Holton and Roy Cooper take the stage in Charlotte, N.C.

Tim Kaine, his wife Anne Holton and Roy Cooper take the stage in Charlotte, N.C.

Source James Watkins

The song captures the atmosphere of the rally at the party’s campaign HQ in Charlotte, N.C., with the roughly 200 Democratic volunteers and supporters in the crowd excited and optimistic about Clinton’s chances of victory, including military veteran Dyrrle Osborne.

Down-ballot races are on everyone’s lips (including Kaine’s), with tight races for the senate, house, state legislature and local judicial positions. Cooper’s gubernatorial race against incumbent Republican Pat McCrory is one of the most important in the country, given controversial state legislation like the HB2 “bathroom bill.” Kaine and Cooper “have never lost an election, and that roll will continue tomorrow,” Cooper told the crowd. He has a 2.2-point average polling lead over McCrory, but the Clinton-Kaine ticket at the top of the ballot faces a tighter race.

I think Clinton will win. She’s the lesser of two evils. Not great choices for President of the US. Quite laughable in fact…

— Bruce McIlwraith, 47, Durban, South Africa

Natalie Roe
Athens, Ga.
Monday, Nov. 7, 5:15pm EST

The last time Georgia voted Democratic was in 1992, for Bill Clinton. But this year, the usually red state is looking purple and may even prove to be a battleground state. After early voting closed, Landmark/Rosetta Stone released a final poll of likely Georgia voters that showed Hillary Clinton narrowing the gap on Donald Trump, 46 to 48. This suggests that the GOP may win, but Republicans must work on wooing young voters — and where better to gauge their success than Athens?

Last Thursday, the editorial board of The Red & Black, the independent student daily of the University of Georgia, endorsed Hillary Clinton, noting that the decision shouldn’t be a surprise, given the Red&Black/GLOBIS survey on Oct. 27 showed that Clinton led Trump 58 to 22 percent among UGA students, faculty and staff.

The UGA student newspaper's endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

The UGA student newspaper’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

Sure, it wasn’t terribly unexpected, given that Athens has long been a fairly liberal city in a conservative state. But it is a sign of the state’s mixed messages. Another one? On Sunday, The Athens Banner Herald, a local daily, threw a curveball by endorsing Donald Trump. “A line in the sand must be drawn now,” the paper noted. “The only candidate who can do these things is Donald Trump.” But the endorsement didn’t come directly from the paper so much as from its parent company, Morris Communications. W.S. Morris IV, CEO and president of the firm, explained that “Morris is a third-generation, family-owned company. We hold traditional values and have long held conservative views that we believe have been key components in making this country a world leader.”

With over 200 years of democracy, the world is looking [to] America for a peaceful election. Donald Trump should behave as [an] experienced businessman and stop complaining about everything that is not in his favor. He should accept defeat if he loses. He is behaving like third world leaders who only accept election results when they win.

— CK Akaho-Tay, 56, Ghana, West Africa

Matt Foley
Las Vegas, Nev.
Sunday, Nov. 6, 4:15pm EST

Bob Irwin began his career in firearms as a 17-year-old gunsmith at Oregon Tech. He holds two patents as a firearms designer, has worked as a police academy “use of force” instructor, self-defense trainer, Clark County bailiff and an expert witness. Today he can be found at The Gun Store, an indoor shooting range and retail depot he opened in 1988 off the Strip. Irwin says that while it’s “hard to pin sales to the election,” the store, which makes 75 percent of its revenue from visits to the shooting range, has experienced a spike in retail sales following increased street crime in Las Vegas.

Question 1 on Nevada’s ballot proposes background checks for all gun buyers. The Gun Store and other large depots are already required to issue background checks, while private purchases are less regulated. Irwin says that private weapon purchases are popular for economic reasons: The state charges $25 plus sales tax for every background check. Irwin thinks politicians overlook the strain these extra fees place on consumers, citing the cost of background checks as the primary driver of an underground market.



Natalie Roe
Athens, Ga.
Monday, Nov. 7, 12:52pm EST

More than 2,381,416 votes have been cast in Georgia through early voting, shattering the state’s previous record of 2.1 million in 2008. The results underscore the importance of accessibility to voting in Georgia, which has not always been the case for one of the largest untapped political forces in this election: millennials. Thanks to an initiative driven by the University of Georgia’s Student Government Association, students were able to cast their votes at an early polling station on campus for the first time since the institution opened its doors in 1785. President Houston Gaines kept hearing from students who were desperate to participate in the election but were unable to return home to vote. “One of the ways we thought would be most important and critical would be to get a polling site on campus,” Gaines says. Despite waiting times of more than two hours, some 2,600 ballots were cast in two days of early voting — a mind-blowing turnout for the university.

Students line up to vote early at UGA.

Students line up to vote early at UGA.

Source Houston Gaines

Gaines believes the large turnout further proves that accessibility is essential to mobilizing millennial voters. He hopes to see not only longer and more early voting on campus but the prioritizing of voter registration on college campuses nationwide. For him, the most important takeaway from Athens’ early voting was that students wanted to change their registration to Athens-Clarke County because they wanted their vote to count on their campus, not in their hometowns. By 2020, about 95 million voting Americans will be members of the millennial generation — more than one in three voters. As this demographic continues to emerge as the largest and most diverse generation in U.S. history, will we start to see voter registration tied in with college orientation?

If there were a Mother Earth, she would most definitely tell the USA to go stand in the corner until they could act in a mature manner. The U.S. is the most powerful country in the world. It is scary that this election makes them a laughingstock.

— Don Doerksen, 69, reader from Winnipeg, Canada

Nicholas Fouriezos
Tampa, Fla.
Monday, Nov. 7, 12:02pm EST

As Donald Trump rallies in nearby Sarasota today and Vice President Joe Biden hits neighboring Clearwater, Tampa may wonder when the bay became the center of the political universe. No president since 1960 has won Florida without Tampa’s Hillsborough County, and this region’s residents can thank their position along the I-4 corridor for their electoral relevance: $60 million has been spent in the presidential race along the infamous “golden girdle” this year. From Tampa to Orlando and up through Jacksonville, Florida’s bulging belt buckle accounts for 43 percent of the Sunshine State’s voters.

President Obama stumps for Hillary Clinton along Florida's I-4 corridor.

President Obama stumps for Hillary Clinton along Florida’s I-4 corridor.

Source Nick Fouriezos

Immigrants here will play a huge role in deciding where the state’s 29 electoral votes go, and Democrats point to the increased influence of 400,000 Puerto Ricans in the Orlando area as a symbol of strength. As one Puerto Rican Hillary supporter told me, the rhetoric Donald Trump has shown toward women (even telling Howard Stern that he could call his daughter Ivanka “a piece of ass”) would make a Puerto Rican man “punch him in the face.”

But there are other migrants, too: retirees. The popular Villages retirement community in central Florida has boomed in recent years and likely will turn out in force for Trump. Seniors and veterans are key demographics in Florida, “and that’s an advantage for the Republicans,” says Robert Watson, a dean of Sunshine State politics and a professor at Lynn University.


James Watkins
Charlotte, N.C.
Monday, Nov. 7, 11:00am EST

Al Shehadi, 56, has gone door-to-door for the Democrats — with a smile and well-polished pitch — at every election since graduating college. In North Carolina, a record three million voters have cast their ballots early (more than half of the expected overall turnout), but the focus is now on getting every last voter to the polls.

When the doors open, Shehadi hands over information about where and when the already committed Clinton supporters should go on Tuesday, as well as an information sheet on the full blue ticket. Down-ballot races are a key focus in North Carolina, with races for governor, the senate and the house all within the margin of error in most polls. A local judicial race for the state supreme court could prove crucial, potentially swinging the court’s affiliation. The race is technically nonpartisan, so no party affiliation will be shown on voters’ ballots, but the canvassing paperwork lets voters know which candidate is which.

Liberty & fundamental rights: In my opinion, if the voter considers the Oath of Office [that] the successful candidate must take to PRESERVE, PROTECT, AND DEFEND the Constitution, Clinton is more likely than not to preserve, protect, and defend the People’s Fundamental Rights and Liberties.

— Jim Deatherage, 83, Irving, Texas

James Watkins
Charlotte, N.C.
Monday, Nov. 7, 10:30am EST

There’s nervous anticipation and hopeful confidence in the air at Democratic HQ in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The city of Charlotte, like the entire state, has received its fair share of surrogates as well as top-ticket campaign rallies over the past few weeks. For the Dems, President Obama was here on Friday, Jon Bon Jovi on Sunday night and Tim Kaine on Monday morning. Will these visits sway voters? “Oh, yes,” says Jane Whitley, first vice chair of the county Democratic Party.

“Obama mentioned two early voting locations on Friday, and there were huge lines at those two locations the next day,” she says. While Whitley points to early voting stats that look good for Clinton, Trump currently leads statewide polls on average by 1.5 points.


Leslie Nguyen-Okwu
Charlotte, N.C.
Monday, Nov. 7, 9:00am EST

In North Carolina, signs of a teetering GOP are everywhere: neck-and-neck senate and gubernatorial races, the charred remains of a firebombed GOP office in Hillsborough and the state’s shifting demographics. Claire Mahoney is deep in the trenches of Charlotte, and she shares some of her day-to-day tribulations as a GOP chairwoman: death threats at her home, booing and hissing at local meetings, phone bankers in tears and relentless trolls on Twitter.

Mahoney has endured other tough moments in 35 years of campaigning for the GOP — the kind that test your character, she says. But when it comes to which way the state will swing this year, she refuses to hazard a guess. “I don’t think anyone knows,” she admits. “There are too many unknowns.”


Leslie Nguyen-Okwu
Charlotte, N.C.
Sunday, Nov. 6, 11:30pm EST

The choice may have been easy for you but not for voters who are still unsatisfied with who’s on the ballot. Look no farther than the battleground state of North Carolina, where a handful of longtime voters are miffed, weary and — that dirty word in today’s divisive election — undecided. Clinton or Trump? For 60-something Larry Wolfe, his indecision is crippling.

“I don’t know what decision I’ll make until I’m in front of the voting machine, and even then I don’t know if it’ll be the right choice,” he says. Before jetting off to Sunday worship at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, Wolfe pauses and turns around. No choice words for either candidate, just deep, deep disappointment. “That air of futility in trying to make a reasonable selection for president, it’s a stinky one.”


Taylor Mayol and Matt Foley
Las Vegas, Nev.
Sunday, Nov. 6, 9:10pm EST

Lots of tie-dye Bernie shirts spotted in Vegas today, where the Vermont senator stumped hard for Hillary Clinton and Catherine Cortez Masto, who’s up against Dr. Joe Heck in the senate race to fill Harry Reid’s seat. Actress America Ferrera primed the crowd with an impassioned speech that implored people to vote while knocking Donald Trump’s statements about Mexicans and immigrants. Bernie Sanders spoke to a crowd at the College of Southern Nevada, touching on prescription drugs, trade, college education, equal pay and climate change (“Why does Trump blame China for inventing climate change, of all places?” he asked amid cheers). His rhetoric was wonky as usual, but the crowd was feeling the Bern. Outside the rally, two lone Trump supporters with their Killary signs and signature red hats went mostly ignored. Next up on Sanders’ own ”campaign” trail? Los Angeles, to rally voters to vote on a California ballot measure on prescription drugs.

When I tell my Uber driver that I’m going to report on a Bernie Sanders talk, she says, “So the rumors aren’t true.” She’d heard reports that Sanders had dumped Clinton. Misinformation seems to be one of the most prominent threads in this election. Some voters are asking — amid a deluge of political ads and headlines on social media — “how do I know what’s true?”

OZY2016

The route to the White House: news, stories and analysis from on and off the presidential campaign trail.