Throw a Voting Party

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voting-party

Team Diva thinks everyone should host a voting party. Historically, voting day was a big freaking deal. There were parades, people dressed up in costumes, and there was a lot of booze involved. KUOW did a recent story about this very topic. They made their point in the headline: “Voting is boring.”

But does it have to be? Don’t sit alone as you desperately try to figure out who to vote for in the Washington state supreme court race. Make your commitment to democracy—in all of its messy glory—something to revel in.

Let’s bring back this amazing tradition, the ruckus, the pageantry, and the goodness that is our civic duty! Team Diva has some pointers on how to throw your own voting party.

“How to Throw a Party” Refresher

Not everyone is well versed in the party throwing process. Luckily the Divas have broken down the steps on how to throw an excellent party. It also helps if you have someone in your social circle who is a drag queen.

Step One: Stock the Bar for Your Voting Party

DonnaTella and Mrs. Diva Kim love stocking the bar. Follow their key tips here for how to make your bar great. Your guests will appreciate it. Voting can be gut-wrenching and frustrating. Best to take the edge off with a Negroni.

If you and your guests will prefer to imbibe something blue instead of red, have the Blue Curacao and a cocktail list ready. Even better (because a lot of people don’t care for curacao), get some Heart-tee Blue Tea from Wild Hibiscus Flower Co. and make infusions or add the tea as a mixer for a truly unique drink for the occasion.

And remember to include refreshments for your teetotaling and designated driver friends. Best to have some locally made Dry Soda on hand.

Step Three: Make Sure Your Voting Party Guests Can Inform Themselves on the Issues

Stranger Voting Guide

Stranger Voting Guide

An informed voter is a smart voter. Make sure your guests have access to different endorsements so they can really explore the issues for themselves. Here are a couple of places to download a voting guide or endorsements. Have these lists pulled up on various devices at your party, or send this list to your folks before they arrive.

Voting by the issues

  • The Progressive Voters Guide – An annual guide created by progressive political org Fuse Washington. It gives a run-down of the many statewide ballot measures and individual endorsements for every legislative district.
  • Seattle Transit Blog – Over the last year, I have been extremely impressed by this group’s endorsements. If transit is your big issue check out their endorsements.
  • Educators Voting Guide – A non-partisan guide by the Washington Education Association with endorsements based on the candidates’ support for public education.
  • SEAMEC – A non-partisan guide that evaluates candidates based on their LGBTQ knowledge and support.

Endorsements by the local publications

  • The Stranger – A comprehensive, very long, and sassy list of endorsements for all races and measures.  
  • Seattle Weekly – 12 endorsements for key ballot measures and races
  • Seattle Times – A list of individual articles with endorsements (or an explanation for why they have no endorsement)
  • Seattlish – Comprehensive, but to the point. Possibly the sassiest of them all.

We also recommend reading up on Everytown for Gun Safety. It has only one endorsement relevant to our ballot this year: Hillary Clinton. However, its centrist view on preventing gun violence and reasonable gun ownership is worth knowing and sharing at a political shindig.

And don’t just rely on orgs and the press. If you have friends who feel extra special about certain Initiatives, give them time to speak before the voting begins.

On that note…

Step Four: Set Ground Rules for Your Guests / In Other Words – Play Nice and Nasty

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I know this might be a strange concept but it is OK for your guests to have differences of opinions on the issues—with the caveat that everyone be respectful. We only get better as a nation and create real change when we really think through the issues. If we are only agreeing with a small circle of friends and never being challenged, then we will never grow. If we cannot grow as individuals, our larger community cannot grow. Make sure you start off with some ground rules. No shaming people’s votes, and no gloating that your vote is better than someone else’s vote. Play nice!

Step Five: Make Sure You Have Voting Supplies Available

twostamps

The key to a voting party is making sure that your friends bring their ballots. That’s on them, but if they forget or have lost their ballot, they can download and print a replacement ballot through WA State’s MyVote system.

Next up: Make sure you have a pack of fresh pens. Don’t rely on the ones that have been drying up in your kitchen drawer for over a year. There are A LOT of bubbles to fill on this ballot, and a crappy pen will make the task even more arduous.

Finally, go ahead and spring for a pack of stamps…OR make a party of it and drop off everyone’s ballots at one of the ballot drop boxes in Seattle.

Step Six: Decorations and Voting Swag

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Break out Old Glory. Set up an old-fashioned photo “voting” booth. If you have patriotic supplies left over from 4th of July, break them out again. If you want to grab a few festive decorative items in Red, White, and Blue, Daiso has patriotic doodads year round. The one drawback is that, like all the steel in Trump’s towers, everything is made in CHYNA.

As for catering, unfortunately, strawberries and blueberries are not in season for a red, white and blue shortcake. However, with some food coloring and ambition, you can make a flag layer cake or even edible Democrat/Republican cupcake decorations. Naturally, you can also get creative make some Green (Party) Granola Bars and Birdie Sanders treats, too. Libertarians will have to forage for themselves, just as they prefer.

And THAT is how you throw a voting party to remember! Thanks for helping us to bring back the fun in Voting!!!!

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