MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Inside FedExForum Tuesday, the familiar sound of bouncing basketballs were replaced with the sounds of 27,000 absentee ballots being prepped and meticulously inspected by 200 poll workers.
Poll workers worked in teams of two, one Democrat and one Republican. They then had to do something that this nation has struggled with: agree on something.
Each member of the team had to agree on the validity of each ballot.
“Just being here shoulder to shoulder with the other parties lets us know we can work together. It doesn’t matter who you like as a leader making sure we work together and support who is going to be our next leader,” said Tara Hunter who is a Democrat.
It’s a beautiful sentiment that hasn’t always been felt in this country. The razor-thin margin between the presidential candidates shows we are a nation divided and finding a way to co-exist may be difficult.
“This goes back to just having an understanding of where you are emotionally, physically, spiritually each day. You know, am I in a place where I can share my thoughts and ideas in a way that I would be proud looking back,” said Cute Lee, a licensed professional counselor at Christ Community Health.
He tells his patients it’s important to not focus so much on the differences, but focus on the similarities.
“If we could all dig down a little bit and figure ourselves out a little bit what we will find is a commonality," said Lee. “We all care about our nation. We all care about one another. We just want the best for X,Y and Z.”
Lee says it’s about finding common ground. When you do that, you may be surprised by what you find.
“I haven’t met greater people than the people I met today which are Tara and Milton and some of the other people I was working with today,” said Republican poll worker Jonathan Blaine. “These people are definitely friends of mine and we will continue being friends moving forward."
Lee says if you’re feeling anxiety about this year’s election practice self-care. He suggests taking a long walk, getting enough sleep and calling a loved one.