Now that Election Day has come and gone, the truth prevails about what America wants and needs: change. It has been said that all great presidents have been great orators, and if that is true, then Barack Obama will join the ranks of such leaders. We look forward to Obama’s inauguration and the next four year’s as our president.

We also hope that after certain propositions passed or failed that our community will embrace tolerance and one day, acceptance. We look forward to what our elected politicians bring to the table here in Ventura County and that they will help our community succeed as a whole.

For anyone who worked or lived in Ventura County for the last seven days, here is a diary of the days leading up to the election, and of course, election night. Undoubtedly, many of us endured anxious and nerve wrecking times. We look forward to reading about your recollections of this historic and transformational time.

Oct. 29, 2:40 p.m.: Hundreds of campaign mailers, yard signs, commercials and conversations swirl around everyone’s life almost every minute. I constantly hear mail being delivered to my inbox from campaign offices of No on Measure U! Protect Marriage! Stop the H8te! Palin’s wardrobe?!

I never knew how passionate people were about politics until this year, or really the last few months. I can’t help but wonder what people will talk about after the election is over. The tension is so high — people ripping up opponents’ propaganda, and the general outcry over why anyone would support or oppose anything.

The energy is high and people are nervous. They are nervous about what will happen.

I am nervous, too. What if what I have assumed will happen doesn’t? My family, friends and colleagues rest assured Obama will become president. But what if? What if another 2000 or 2004 election debacle occurs? What if we don’t end up where we thought we were going?

I am sure the tension will only continue to rise as we get closer to Election Day.

Only six more days to go.

Oct. 30, 9:35 a.m.: The last VCReporter before the election just hit the newsstands. When I think of all the Obama signs in so many windows and on lawns, I just don’t think that anyone could have beaten our support for Obama this week. If people didn’t know who we are endorsing for president, they will now.

Our cover: a painting of Barack Obama by Shepard Fairey with no headlines or teasers — just the man himself.

I also just finished watching the 30-minute Obama campaign infomercial. There really wasn’t as much talk about it around work or out in the public as I had thought there might be. But I think everyone just wants him in office now. “Be done campaigning already, you have my vote!”

I still find it hard to believe that some people are undecided. What is so hard to decide? This is an easy issue. You either want to go through the same ol’ crap of the last eight years or you want someone who wants to help all to thrive.

Only five more days to go.

Oct. 31, 9:29 a.m.: It’s Halloween and things are beginning to look scary out there. I received a few e-mails today about Proposition 8, and I am starting to think some voters ONLY listen to propaganda and don’t do the research or read articles to find out the truth.

I hope as time dwindles down and close in on this election, people won’t vote ignorantly.

Only four more days to go.

Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m.: With less than 36 hours to finding out who our new president will be, tension is even more severe than before. Readers want to be heard; candidates are too busy to talk; political vandalism is on the rise; and Highway 101 was shut down due to a crazy man donning fatigues and waving around a revolver and an American flag.

Rumors are flying about Obama’s tax plan and doubts are being created amongst a few. The drive to pass Proposition 8 is becoming desperate. Supporters are pushing hard on the idea of protecting children. I still wonder, if teachers had talked about homosexuality openly in school, would Larry King still be alive?

Only one day left to go.

Election Day, Nov. 4:

11 a.m.: I made it to my polling place by 8:15 a.m. Although my name was on the list, the polling people told me I had to fill out a provisional ballot. Apparently, I was not the only one.

Thanks to a man going door to door registering people to vote, I am now a mail-in only voter although I wasn’t clearly informed that I HAD to use my absentee ballot to vote today. So I had to fill out a provisional ballot. I am concerned there are others who are dealing with this problem. Now I have to wait a week to see if my vote counted.

3:30 p.m.: Young man on Main Street in Ventura is painting a portrait of Barack Obama. He said he thinks he can sell it for $100,000. The most he ever got for a piece was $140. More people are writing and calling in, venting their opinions on what we do or don’t stand for. Interesting place to be.

8:30 p.m.: Driving in my car, Obama takes Florida and Ohio. Everyone knows you can’t win the presidency without Ohio. I guess America was ready for change.