It's Hard to Be a Republican in the City

By Elise Soukup

Let me make some generalizations about the women in my mommy group: They're young. They live in Manhattan. They're Mormon. They're registered Republican. They voted for Mitt Romney. There are exceptions, of course. Jennifer Strent, for example, is a registered Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton. As everyone was e-mailing about their votes, she sent an e-mail that asked these questions: one, "Doesn't a Republican agenda go against the teachings of Christianity and Mormonism?" and two, "Doesn't interfering with a person's right to choose interfere with God's plan for us?" The e-mail spurred some 50 e-mails within the next 24 hours. The responses, if you were wondering, almost universally said to number one: no and to number two: no.

But amidst all of this chatter, another theme emerged: encounters at the polls with workers who were shocked, and baffled, to meet Republicans. (Especially young, cute ones.) I've compiled my friends experiences below in a sort of oral history of voting Republican on Super Tuesday in New York City:

Laurel Walker, 27, a stay-at-home mom to two children: "I voted today and the lady at the table said, and I quote, 'You're a Republican? Shame on you, Shame on you, Shame on you!' Then she made a big deal of telling the guy at the booth to 'move it over to the Republican side!' like no one else had needed it that day."

Rebecca Hunt, 31, a stay-at-home mom to four children:
"When I told the ladies that I was a Republican, the one said to the other, 'No way, what number does that make her?' The second replied, '16, wait, no, 15. The 15th Republican.' And I voted at 3:00pm."

Hillary Ridge, 27, a stay-at-home mom to two children: "When I voted the lady started to hand me a Democrat paper, but then had the professionalism to ask. When I answered Republican, she cringed a bit, but handed it to me nicely..."

Heidi Vetter, 24, a stay-at-home mom to one child:
"The lady handed me a democratic sheet without even asking me. I took it and realized the mistake. I told her that I needed a Republican sheet, she looked at me like I was joking and said 'really?' and I said 'really.' She looked rather smug as she switched the sheets."

Rachel Theurer, 29, a stay-at-home mom to one child: "They set my machine for a democratic vote. I had to ask what the problem was because I couldn't vote for who I wanted. The guy said: 'Well, you're supposed to vote for a Democrat.' I said, 'No, I'm a Republican.' And so then of course there was this scene with the guy yelling over to the the table where I had signed in saying, 'Hey, she's a Republican!' and then this huge delay while they tried to adjust the machine accordingly--with everyone staring. This was about 5:00."

Holly Hancey, 25, stay-at-home mom to one child: "When I tried to vote earlier today and my name was not on the list, I had to speak to two different people, both of whom asked me my party and when I replied Republican they basically told me that they had "no idea" why I was not on the list (though I had registered a year ago) but to re-register and "better luck next year." I went back tonight after I heard about voting byaffidavit. When I asked a woman tonight about it she immediately said, "Oh yes, over this way, Miss" and showed me how to fill out and hand in the affidavit vote. As she initialed my vote and put it in the box I noticed her name tag and on it it said: "REPUBLICAN POLL VOLUNTEER." Now we see my being prevented from voting earlier today may have been
a plot to keep the Republicans down!!! (As if in New York, they need any help...) Okay, it's kind of extreme and I have NOTHING against Democrats but this is a little coincidental, is it not?"

Angie Harding, 31, stay-at-home mom to two children:
"I went to vote and after looking up my registration they pointed me to the booth. I went into the booth with the goal to be quick because my one-year-old twins were screaming. I tried to vote Republican but the switch wouldn't was stuck. After trying to push it with some force I finally leaned my head out and asked the woman, "Is this broken? I think it's broken because it won't move." She look at me and said, "Well you're a Democrat, right?" I informed her that I was a Republican and then she looked at me with disapproval and said, "Oh. They told me you were a Democrat." Then she yells over to the desk and says, "She's a Republican!" It took her about two minutes and a bunch of leaver flipping to switch the machine so I could vote republican all the while my kids are crying and only adding to the attention."

Had Jen voted in the democratic primary in Utah, I have no doubt she could have one upped us all.