Reporter’s notebook: Odds and ends from election day

A prayer to prepare

About 20 people gathered for an election eve prayer meeting Monday in the clubhouse of The Preserve in New Palestine.Ethan Maple, a New Palestine resident and pastor of the Movie Theater Church at Washington Square Mall, said about five to six churches came together for the event. He said those gathered, who varied in age and political persuasion, took time to voice and pray about the fears they brought to Election Day.

“We worship the same God, … (but) when you just look at the current feeling of this election, it feels a little bit different,” he said in the days before the meeting. “The Christian church, in general, seems very divided.”

At the conclusion of the event, everyone who participated received a sticker proclaiming “I Prayed Today,” mimicking the “I Voted” stickers people would get at the polls the next day, organizers said.

“There’s going to be a lot of healing and reconciliation that’s going to have to happen after the election,” Maple said.

George, Martha and The Donald

Dressed in a George Washington costume, James McCormack of McCordsville greeted voters who came to the Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds Tuesday to cast a ballot. He joked with passersby that he’d gotten dressed in the dark that day and chose the first thing hanging in this closet at home, all the while smiling at their stares, meeting their chuckles with his own and even joining in on an occasional selfie.But the sign McCormack was holding made his message clear: he was out stumping for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and local Republican county council candidate Martha Vail, both of whom he believed shared characteristics with the county’s first president.

“Just like George Washington, Donald Trump didn’t need to run for president, and Martha Vail didn’t have to run for county council,” McCormack said. “But they are doing it because they believe it is what’s in the best interest of the country and the county.”

A final push

Candidates and their supporters toughed out cold, rainy weather during the afternoon hours of Election Day. Bundled up outside vote centers across the county, they tried to keep warm and dry as they stumped for their favorite candidates, trying to capture more votes.Democrat Rita Johnson and Republican Martha Vail, both running for Hancock County Council at-large, spent the morning and afternoon campaigning alongside one other at the Hancock County Public Library, much like they have the past week during early voting. They laughed and chatted to pass the time, working toward a positive relationship, despite their political differences.

Possibility of woman president

Betty Tonsing of Greenfield has been doing a lot of work for the state’s Democratic party in the weeks leading up to Election Day, handing out information and talking with voters about Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and other democratic candidates. She kept up that work Tuesday, standing outside the vote center at the Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds holding a sign promoting Rita Johnson, a Democrat running for Hancock County Council at-large, and greeting voters as they came to cast their ballots.It’s been a rather emotional few days, Tonsing admitted Tuesday as tears welled a bit in her eyes. She said she’s often paused for a moment here and there to think about all the people in history who fought for women’s rights and brought the country to the point of having its first viable female candidate for president.

What she’s truly excited about is the interest in politics this election had drummed up, despite its more contentious moments, she said.

Everyone agrees on lunch

The experienced poll workers at Wilkinson Church of Christ decided to pool the money they’d been allotted for lunch on Election Day and hire a local caterer to keep the hunger at bay while dealing with the hurried voter lines, said inspector Dennis Fisher.The Republican and Democrats working the church’s vote center enjoyed a home-style lunch of meatloaf, corn and macaroni and cheese provided by Jessie Collier, a local caterer.

They ate an early lunch at 11 a.m. and planned to have supper around 5 p.m., beating the rush of voters that typically comes with the lunch and dinner hours. This way, no one had to hand out ballots while experiencing hunger pangs, Fisher joked.

Young faces spread cheer

A local Girl Scout Brownie troop, armed with little American flags and colorful thank-you signs, braved the rain Tuesday afternoon to greet voters who came to the McCordsville Town Hall vote center.Bundled up in winter coats, their tan colored sashes draped over their shoulders, they waved and smiled at visitors and thanked them for coming to perform their civic duty.