With all the energy and excitement about Obama and this election, the reality is that some folks will have to wait in line before voting. But there's no reason for it to be a downer. With your help, we can turn it into a party!
Why a party? So many people showing up and voting for change is a reason to celebrate. And, of course, we need everyone to stick it out and vote. Here's the idea: If we can make the lines at polling places fun and entertaining, more folks will stay in line and vote. It's easy: after you vote (or while you're waiting), you can bring food, water, and entertainment for your neighbors who have a long wait. Just a few words of kindness and encouragement could mean the difference between a vote being cast or thrown away.
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How to Start a Party at the Polls
You can do this while you're waiting in line yourself, you can come back after you've voted, or you can go to other polling places in your area where you hear there are long lines. Here are some ways you can make the wait easier and more fun for voters:
- Bring water, food, snacks. A lot of people might not have realized how long they'd have to wait. A little food and water can help give people the energy they need to power through. Cook something the night before, buy some bottled water to share. Healthy snacks are good, but you can also use the opportunity to get rid of extra Halloween candy.
- Bring some folding chairs. Some people may need a break from standing; you can give them somewhere to sit.
- Rain? Bring umbrellas, ponchos, plastic bags. Help people stay dry.
- Tell jokes, juggle, provide some other kind of entertainment. Are you a comedian, dancer, or street performer of some kind? Put on a show! Make sure it's family-friendly.
- Play some music or bring a boombox. Play an instrument? Bring it to the polls and play some songs. Bring a boombox. Take requests. Avoid music that might be offensive or abrasive to some people. Keep in mind that not everyone may like your music, so pay attention to how people are reacting; you don't want to drive anyone away.
- Be prepared to cover up campaign t-shirts, buttons, etc. Some places have rules against campaigning within 100 feet of the polls. Wearing a t-shirt or button can be considered a form of campaigning, so if you're wearing gear from a particular candidate, be prepared to cover it up or change into different clothes if someone asks you to.
- Above all, have fun, and spread it around. Help everyone out, not just people supporting your candidate. This is about making sure everyone has the right to vote. Voters disagree on many issues, but we should all be able to agree that participation in our democracy is an exciting thing. Help bring a festive spirit to the polling place.
Please let us know what you plan on doing, and read our tips for making sure we do this in a responsible and inclusive way. It just takes a minute: