Today’s writing prompt is not for the faint of heart. As you complete this writing prompt, although you’ll be writing fiction, you’ll envision what it would be like to offer key testimony during the January 6th Hearings.

See my completed version of this writing prompt in the post; it’s fiction and it’s called A Poll Worker’s Testimony.

Today’s Writing Prompt:

For today’s writing prompt, imagine you’re being questioned in the January 6th hearings. Write the transcript of your hypothetical testimony with some of the questions you’re being asked, alongside the internal dialogue you’re having as you’re being questioned.

Keep scrolling to see my completed version of this writing prompt.

Tip for Completing Today’s Writing Prompt:

For examples of what a transcript from a hearing like this would look like, see the January 6th Select Committee’s official website, and or use Google to locate specific transcripts of testimony from reputable sources, like NPR: Here’s every word from the 8th Jan. 6 committee on its investigation.

Also, before you begin writing, ask yourself if are you providing (or envisioning that you are) key testimony of a key witness, someone who was complicit or coerced into participating in the attack on the Capitol, a lawyer or legal representative, a government official or representative, a security officer, or someone else.

A Poll Worker’s Testimony, by K.E. Creighton

[Note: The brief testimony here is fictional. It did not occur in real life. The italics used below indicate the interviewee’s internal dialogue as they’re being questioned.]

[Committee Member]: What were you doing on the night of November 3, 2020?

I was working as a poll worker, counting votes for Fulton County, Georgia. For the election.

Breathe… breathe… pretend that there aren’t cameras in your face. Pretend it’s just you and mom, like what you talked about during practice. No big deal. Just keep breathing.

[Committee Member]: And how many years had you worked for Fulton County as a poll worker before November 2020?

About 20 years. Ever since I was in my early twenties. I loved helping people vote and take part in and better understand the democratic process.

And now I’ll never be able to do it again. Because of those…

[Committee Member]: Did you witness anything unusual that night? Anything that was more unusual than all the other times you had worked as a poll worker for an election?

Unusual? That’s one word for it…

Inside the polling station, in the section where I was working, not so much. But just outside of the polling station, there were a lot of people with guns. And that was scary and unusual. Before then, I always saw people outside polling stations with banners for who they were voting for, and things like that. But I had never seen weapons like those or heard people shouting what they were shouting.

[Committee Member]: Do you remember what kind of weapons they had? Or what they were shouting?

I remember them shouting that anyone who didn’t vote for Trump was a traitor and should be stopped…permanently. Yeah, they were shouting about stopping the voting for good, or something like that. But votes were still being cast. And that everyone in the building counting votes was corrupt and wouldn’t count Trump votes. So they had to stop the election from being stolen themselves. With force if needed. Things like that. I can’t remember what exactly they shouted, word for word. But they were very angry and sounded violent.

The guns, or weapons… when I looked out the window before they forced their way inside… I saw a few guys with rifles, I think, slung over their backs. I don’t know much about makes and models of guns, actually… and I saw one woman and a few other men with handguns holstered on their hips. I was told at one point that one of them was waving their smaller gun in someone’s face outside. Someone trying to come inside and vote, I think. But I never saw that firsthand so I don’t know if it really happened. And I don’t know if any of them, the guns, were loaded. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. And there were a lot of them. Most of the crowd had at least one, if not two or three, on them.

I was scared out of my mind. And I wanted to go home at one point because I knew my family would be scared if they knew about what was going on. But I ended up staying. It’s an important job to do. Or it was, for me at least.

[Committee Member]: Now, I’m going to play a short clip of a video that was captured that night by a witness outside the polling station, where you were working.

[Video plays. The video shows an armed crowd of many people shouting “Stop the Count” and “Save America” and “Let us in!” at about one dozen people entering the polling station as the sun is going down. Many people in the shouting crowd are wearing Trump hats and shirts and or are carrying Trump flags. One man in the back right corner of the video, waving a red Trump flag with one hand has a handgun in his other hand and is waving it in the air as he’s shouting at another man wearing a blue shirt that says “Vote for Biden” on it. After a brief moment, the man in the Biden shirt turns and walks away from the polling station, and the man waving the handgun, having never gone inside.]

[Committee Member]: Did you witness what was just shown in the video in person that night?

I didn’t, no. But a few of my coworkers that night said they saw it. They were very disturbed and upset by it. They wanted to leave too. I think one did. And they said a few people had walked away without voting because they looked scared. I did see people who were trying to wait in line leave before coming inside, and they looked scared. There were a lot of people who never ended up coming in to vote, who showed up at the polling station, but didn’t come in.

[Committee Member]: Did anything else happen that night that frightened you?

Everything? I wish I could just say that, everything, and be done with this. Everyone is still staring at me. And why is my stomach feeling like that? Come on now, I can’t hurl on national television. Just breathe…

Yes. At one point, we had to stop counting votes for quite a while because the crowd had infiltrated the front room, just outside the room we were in at the time counting votes. We saw them, the people with the guns, come inside the building. But there was nothing we could do but lock the door. We could see them through the glass. We were all afraid because we had never seen anything like it before. And they were still shouting and very angry. It was so loud and scary, and we couldn’t do our jobs for a little while.

[Committee Member]: Would you say that what you did witness that night looked like voter intimidation?

Yes. Duh. Of course, it was!

I mean, I know there were a lot of voters who were scared and intimidated that night, yes. There were a lot of people who didn’t come in to vote because they felt intimidated and threatened. Yes.

[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]

Notes on Completing this Writing Prompt

I could have kept going with writing this testimony. It is fictional, yes. But it’s still based on real events. Here are some important articles to read, regarding voter intimidation, and general intimidation that’s happening against voters and poll workers at the polls:

If you complete this writing prompt, be sure to share your draft with members of our writing community. We’d love to read it! Be sure to tag #DailyDraftsAndDialogues and @kecreighton on Medium, WordPress, or Facebook, so we can read what you write for this writing prompt. Get creative! Let’s see how many different versions of this prompt there can be out there.