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TheRootDC
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Posted at 10:05 PM ET, 11/06/2012

Election Night at the National Harbor: Excitement, anxiety and fear at the Harrington’s watch party

Through out the day, Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery will capture the Election Day conversations around Prince George’s County, the nation’s wealthiest majority black jurisdiction. Check back in to hear what voters are saying as they cast their ballots.

Updated, 12:02 a.m. Nov. 7.: At 11:00 p.m. CNN showed more results and cheers filled the room at Harrington’s Pub and Kitchen.

California — Obama.

Hawaii — Obama.

Idaho — Romney.

Montana — Romney.

“Don't buy the potatoes!” Jason Henry yelled.

Florida — Obama 50 percent, Romney 49 percent, with 90 percent of the votes counted. "If I can get Florida and Ohio, I'm going home, because it's a done deal," said Jason Henry, NAACP Maryland chair.

We could only hope. I'm thinking we won't know definitively tonight.

Original post, 10:05 p.m. Nov. 6: “If [Obama] gets Florida and Ohio, it’s over. Stick a fork in it. It’s done,” said Jason Henry, NAACP Maryland chair. He joined a watch party, which included some current and former members of Prince George’s Young Dems, at Harrington’s Pub and Kitchen in The National Harbor.

Excitement trumped anxiety and fear at this party, but fears were discussed. Party goers considered election theft and voting irregularities reported around the country. Henry showed me a photo of an effigy of Obama hanging by a noose posted on Facebook. Allegedly, the effigy was hanged at a gas station in Virginia. Reports of a shortage of voting polls in Virginia, where a request for funds to buy more polls was denied, makes you wonder.

Memories of the 2000 election, which Al Gore won by popular vote but lost by a Supreme Court decision — and the 2004 election and its hanging chads — come haunting. Voting irregularities in key battleground state Ohio, where polls were closed on weekends during Early Voting days, make you wonder.

“They've been practicing for this ever since [Obama] got elected," Henry said.

His sister, Emma, a member of the Charles County NAACP and active with Prince George's Young Dems, echoed the hopes of her brother and their friend “I hope we'll get a definitive decision tonight,” Emma Henry said. “I can't wait to hear Romney's concession.”

“Oh, that won't come until 2 to 3 a.m.," her brother said.
“They're going to drag this out as long as they can.”

About a dozen young voters had joined the party by 8:30. More were expected to join when they finished volunteering at polls throughout the County. Rock music blasted overhead as commercials and commentary on CNN flashed across a large screen. Tables were full of small groups of two to 10 people around the room — and not a single group mixed racially. On my way in, I overheard a white guy telling his friend it's pretty bad that the country is so polarized. I'm just waiting for them to turn the music down so we can hear Candy Crowl.

More from The Root DC

Election Day: Up and at ‘em in Prince George’s County

Terry Bradshaw: Burying our heads in the face of racist language?

Redskins fans: From patience to panic

The youth vote: How will it impact the 2012 election?

By Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery  |  10:05 PM ET, 11/06/2012

 
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