American expats in Kamloops watching US Presidential Election unfold

By Tanya Cronin
November 8, 2016 - 10:48am Updated: November 9, 2016 - 12:03am

KAMLOOPS — After an exhausting and bitter campaign, the polls are closing across the United States, in what has become the most bizarre presidential elections in recent history. 

The campaign has brought feelings of excitement and anticipation, and for some, tension and unease. American expats living in Canada have cast their ballots and will be watching closely as the election results unfold.

One of the most tumultuous and polarizing US elections in recent memory has all come down to voting day. After more than a year, the world will finally know whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is the next president of the United States.  

"I have the computer on CNN, I have my car stereo on CNN, here in the office everything is going with CNN, yes indeed I'll be watching essentially until the end," says Kamloops Lawyer, Lesra Martin.

Thousands of Americans living in Canada have cast their ballots, among them, Kamloops Lawyer Lesra Martin who is eagerly anticipating the results of an election unlike any other.

"You have a candidate Donald Trump, who has no military and no political office experience, so that's a first, a monumental achievement would be the first female president, also has a decent shot at being the president."  

A lifelong Democrat originally from Brooklyn, New York, Martin says history will be made no matter how the vote turns out. And while he cast a vote for Hillary Clinton, Martin admits he was initially endeared by Donald Trump. 

"I thought hey maybe we need somebody outside of politics, very few people would admit this, and one of my daughters came to me and said Dad how could you vote for this man. It made me stop and begin to reflect on what it was that she was finding unendearing about him."
Tension and anger has fuelled Trump's rise, and at times Clinton's supporters have had last-minute doubts a female could take on the White House. Martin fears that because the campaign has been so bitter and divisive, whoever is elected will have the task of re-uniting the Nation.

"There was just so much I'm the Saviour from Donald Trump, and then the issue that Hillary Clinton had where people simply didn't feel that they could trust her, so no matter the results there's going to be a lot of healing to do in the country."
When Obama was elected in 2008, there was a feeling of hope. This time among many there is a feeling of dread, especially if Trump wins. Lesra Martin is optimistic history will be made again with the first female elected, but admits it could be a tight race. 

"If Donald Trump lost Florida, I think I would relax a little bit and think he's likely going to lose, but if he doesn't lose Florida, I think we're going to have a race until the bitter end," says Martin.

MP McLeod surprised by Trump win, but says result wasn't an issue of gender