Across the country yesterday, millions of Americans voted in local elections. Some, such as the gubernatorial race in Virginia, had garnered major national coverage. But most had not. I felt a little left out of the mix as there were none here in my hometown of Indianapolis, where I had recently relocated to from New York City.
I have loved voting in every election since I turned 18 and have tried to be a pretty involved citizen most of the time. At the very least, I make sure I'm well-informed on the issues. I canvassed for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And 2016 basically broke me, like so many others.
I was not some reluctant supporter of Hillary Clinton as a reaction to the horrors of Donald Trump. I truly loved and believed in my candidate. I used my social platforms to push out her message and spent countless hours calling voters in swing states. When she lost, a wave of grief rocked me in a way I hadn't experienced since the sudden loss of my mom in 2014.
Over the course of this year, I've cried a lot and raged even more. I'm usually an avid reader, but I can barely get through a book. Even my move back to the Midwest was not unrelated. I wanted to be on the ground to help support candidates and organizations, like Planned Parenthood, that reflect my values…in a state (though not city, thanks Indy!) that is almost always red.
So it was with great trepidation that I tuned in to the election results last night, as I'm pretty sure 2016 left many of us with some kind of electoral PTSD. No, we weren't electing a president and these were not the all-important 2018 midterms. But these races might give us a clue about what we're facing when they arrive.