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A Muslim woman from Atlanta says fear motivated some to vote in this election

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Corey Ray and Ruwa Romman watch election results outside at Manuel's Tavern. Photo: Jennifer Brett,

The crowd at Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta, a popular draw for politicians and the politically astute, was enormous on Tuesday night as election results start to roll in. It would be a safe bet to say many here are Democrat supporters, but their reasons for voting vary.

Ruwa Romman described herself as politically active, so it’s no surprise to see her at a voting-results gathering. But this election had personal resonance for her.

“As a minority, this is a pretty terrifying election,” she said. “I’m an Arab Muslim woman, a group targeted by Trump supporters. The videos have been appalling.”

She works for a nonprofit and is active in a group of Muslim voters.

“This is the first time we’ve seen people come out and vote in response to a real fear,” she said.

Romman and her friend Corey Ray were among the hundreds seated outside after capacity crowds spilled into the parking lot. They arrived early enough to claim prime real estate, at a table in front of a huge television screen beaming CNN coverage.

Gabrielle Jerden arrived later, and was sitting on the ground. For her, voting against Trump was also personal – but for a different reason.

“I’m from Atlantic City,” she said. “We go way back.”

Her father was once a Trump bodyguard and planned to vote for his former boss. Jerden said she and her family just leave politics off the table when she visits, but the specter of Trump is everywhere.

“When I got home and drive by his boarded-up buildings,” she said, shaking her head, “I see what he did.”

Gabrielle Jerden is from Atlantic City. She and Donald Trump, she said, "go way back." Photo: Jennifer Brett,

Gabrielle Jerden is from Atlantic City. She and Donald Trump, she said, “go way back.” Photo: Jennifer Brett,


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