Lake Country resident Dianne Freeman has settled into her Florida home for the winter and has been given a front row seat to what’s arguably one of the strangest spectacles in recent history — the US election.
Freeman’s home is 10 minutes away from a quaint community called Matlacha, and she said the enthusiasm for the democratic process reached a fever pitch Tuesday as Americans headed to the polls.
There were Election Day sales in every store, with some offering 50 per cent off some merchandise.
“If you take your ‘I Voted’ Sticker or voting card to many places and show it they have something free for you,” she said.
“Crispy Kreme gives you a free donut, some places give you a free coffee, another a free appetizer and buy one get one free meal.”
There have been some more partisan outpourings, as well.
“Many of the local artists that own the galleries have huge, huge art work on the top of their buildings or outside of their galleries that say Trump,” she said.
While there may be some bonuses on election day, the passion Americans are feeling isn’t always channelled as positively.
“Someone in our neighbourhood had a Trump sign on their lawn and someone kept driving over it,” she said.
“The fourth time she put nails in it and they drove over them.”
Another Trump sign by an area art gallery was on the ground at one time, but it had to be moved atop the roof because someone took an axe to it.
“Apparently it was a tourist from Colorado,” said Freeman.
Freeman went to take a picture of it and struck a conversation with a passerby.
“I asked her what she thought of the sign. She said it sickened her. She was from Ohio. She said it wouldn’t stop her from shopping there.”
By the time this lands on doorsteps, everyone will know whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton was elected the 45th US president.
If Freeman was a betting woman, she would have put her money on Trump.
“The one thing that I can report is that we are shocked how many Trump signs are all around us. I have not seen one Clinton sign,” she said.
“My husband and I get the feeling that (Donald) Trump will win the election.”
She her neighbours, who live there year-round, say they know Trump has a foul mouth, but he’s a smart business man.
“(They say) ‘the country needs a change,” she said. “The Clintons’ corruption to get into office has been going on for 30 years.”