A Last Minute VAG: Support Your Election with Volunteering and Jello Shots

November 6th is almost here, queers! Are you ready? I am so ready! Yes, voting is probably the single most important thing you can do on Election Day (if you haven’t done so by now.) But it’s not the only important thing you can do on Election Day. Our civic involvement doesn’t have to stop with the submission of our own ballot. Here’s a few things you can do on Election Day to help get out the vote and to stay involved passed casting your own.

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Volunteer or Work as a Poll Worker

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via ehow.com

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Many deadlines have gone by, but some states may still allow you to work or volunteer as a poll worker. Check your state’s election board website to see if there are any more volunteer opportunities left. You can get a list of links to state board of election websites here.

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 Drive Voters To Polls

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via reflector.com

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This is something your local Democratic Committee usually coordinates. Plenty of people aren’t close enough to their polling places to walk and they also don’t have a car or don’t drive. You can help them get there to cast their vote! There are too many counties in the United States for me to provide a list of Democratic committee websites, but I’ve had pretty good luck just googling the name of a county and the words “democratic committee.” If they aren’t organizing a drive-people-to-the-polls situation, give your local nursing home a call and see if they need help. Heck, knock on your neighbors doors and see if they need a lift. Offer yourself up on facebook for your car-less friends. Be accessible for transportation in general and even if you help one person get to the polling place that day, you’ve done a tremendous thing.

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Phone Banking, Knocking On Doors, And Otherwise Telling People to Go Vote

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via Daily Kos

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Your local democratic committee will definitely have this on lock, so give them a call or drop by their headquarters. Or you could festoon your car and buy a PA system off a taco truck and DIY your own volunteer opportunity as Modern Family has told us to do. Here’s an example!

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Election Protection

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via Daily Kos

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I’m sure you’ve heard about the scary intimidation tactics allegedly employed by organizations like True the Vote. If you’re a lawyer, or even if you’re not, Election Protection is trying to make sure people are not intimidated by bullies at the ballot box. Lawyers, law students, and paralegals can be on call to answer questions if something seems fishy at a polling place, or even to participate in legal deployments. If you’re not a lawyer, law student or paralegal, you can volunteer to be a grassroots poll monitor. These grassroots poll monitors aren’t watching for “voter fraud” (something that’s way less common than the right would have you believe) they’re watching for people watching for voter fraud. Basically, they’re just there making sure people don’t scare voters away (something that is so very illegal, so so illegal). They’re looking for volunteers of both kinds in Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.  This website also has excellent information on voting state-by-state if there’s still any confusion about where and when you can vote on election day. They also have some pretty scary stories about deception tactics that are already happening.

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Make Election-Themed Jello Shots

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via celebration.com

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I had a political science teacher in high school who is one of my big political influences. She had a theory. Why don’t we treat Election Day more like a holiday? Why aren’t schools closed, businesses closed? Why aren’t we all partying and celebrating this phenomenal right to vote that we have, that not everyone in the world gets to take part in? Why aren’t we hosting Election Day parties, cheering on our candidates? What is with this country’s attitude on voting?! I agree. Which is why I prescribe Election Day jello shots. I’m dead serious. We should be making a bigger deal out of Election Day. The idea of having a bunch of friends over to get a bit tipsy and watch President Obama win again (please please hopefully please) would do wonders to change the mindset behind Election Day. I actually did do this for the last Presidential Election. So how do you make election-themed jello shots? Use a standard jello shot recipe and only use red and blue jello. Or if you’re me and my friends, only blue jello. I also found these badass election themed cocktails. So party it up, y’all! WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE!

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Read Autostraddle’s Election Day Liveblog/Feelings Thread

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via goodmorningkitten.tumblr.com

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And one more thing. Autostraddle is going to Live Blog the election! Come join me on Election Day so we can share our large amount of political feelings and color in our election maps together! (this is also a thing I did during the last election. Yup. Mmhm.) I can’t wait to see your shining internet faces on Election Day!

Avatar of Ali

Freelance writer and fiction author, Geekery Editor for Autostraddle.com and Fiction Editor for qu.ee/r Magazine. Keep up with her at her website.

Ali has written 260 articles for us.

11 Comments

  1. Thumb up 8

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    ali, i didn’t think it was possible to be more excited than i already am about this year’s election — THE FIRST ELECTION I WILL EVER BE ALLOWED TO VOTE IN, THANK YOU AMERICA FOR MAKING ME A CITIZEN THIS JUNE, WHEEEEE — but every time you post a VAG i do, i get even more excited.

    HOW DO YOU DO IT?!

  2. Thumb up 4

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    If you have a car, offerinng to drive neighbors to the polls can make a difference. There are a fair number of people, especially women, who don’t like to get in cars with strangers. A familiar face, even if you aren’t friends, can make the difference between someone voting or not. (Works for apathetic friends, too, because it’s not as “boring” if they have someone else to go vote with.)

    People likely to appreciate a ride include some older people, some people with disabilities, people with health issues (e.g recent surgery), people voting for the first time, and parents home alone with small children – in that case, your contribution extends to corralling the little one(s) for 3 minutes while the parent votes.

    If your polling place has moved since the last election: one of my neighbors photocopied its new address, hours, and driving directions, then hand delivered a copy to everyone on our block – a helpful, gentle, and personal reminder to vote.

  3. Thumb up 2

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    Eek I need to get my ass crackin on this. I live in Virginia which currently has its 13 electoral votes swinging back and forth and looks to be an important factor in this election.

    …although one of my two roommates is republican, so i probably won’t be encouraging her to vote…

  4. Thumb up 1

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    Oh god the election. I’m am organizer working on the Prop 37 campaign in California and I’m terrified of next Tuesday…like nightmares every night terrified. I wish I could be excited, but it feels a lot different when it’s your full time job to be working on electoral issues. I like the jello shots though. Alcohol is definitely definitely in the game plan for Tuesday.

  5. Thumb up 2

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    Please, come volunteer! I work for the Obama campaign, and we’re going to be working Saturday through Tuesday all day calling voters in swing states making sure that they’re getting to the polls.

    No alcohol for me on election day until the polls close in the West or the election is called, but honestly, I think I’m just going to pass out for about 3 days when I’m done.

  6. Thumb up 1

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    Local Democratic clubs have the local phone banking on lock, but not the phone banking for the presidential election, at least in CA. That’s all OFA (Organizing/Obama for America). If you’re in CA and want to actually get a crack at calling people in OH, NV, IA or one of the battleground states for Obama, going to barackobama.com and volunteering for a shift would be the best thing.

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