by Van Jones, Rebuild the Dream
The next 36 hours are crucial for the future of our country, our lives, our children’s lives, so we don’t want to waste even a minute of your time.
No matter what the polls or pundits say, it’s all about voter turnout and unlikely voters (especially youth) actually going to vote. And we’re not just talking about the Presidential election. This is about Congress, and all the critical state and local races and ballot measures too. No matter what the polls say, voter turnout in the next few hours is the whole ball game.
Here are eight cool, interesting (and useful) things to do in the next 36 hours in addition to voting:
1. GOTV your friends on Facebook: A cool new Facebook app makes it easy to see which of your friends have voted, and to bother the ones who have not. You can also form an online voter Bloc. VoteWithFriends.net
2. Vote in your hoodie: Remember when people wore hoodies on Facebook for Trayvon Martin? The idea is to wear them into the voting booth. It doubles as a way to send a message and a way to motivate more young people of color who have been ignored in the national debate. Take pics with a sign (in your own hoodie) and upload your story here: Hoodievote.org
3. Local voter guides: No one knows how to vote down ballot. Two new web tools feature Local Voter Guides nationwide and allow users to make and share their own complete voter guides down ballot. These websites don’t have all the data in them so you may need to add in the really down ballot candidates and issues by hand: TheBallot.org, and Progressiveballot.org
4. Help people find their polling places: Campaigns mostly turn out “likely” voters at their doors and phones. This is necessary but not sufficient. If you hang out at a community college, bus stop, or a mall on election day, or any other place in America where people still walk, you can offer to help people find their polling places using a cool txt app: Just txt “where” to 877877. Voters will be prompted for their address and they will immediately get their polling place. It’s magic. For extra credit you can turn your car into a “Voter Taxi” — just decorate it to say “Voter Taxi” and presto, you have a Voter Taxi to bring people to the polls
5. Video The Vote: The name says it all. You don’t even need a video camera. Just hang out at a polling location. If anyone has trouble voting, ask them to say what happened on camera. Upload it and tweet it with the #videothevote. They will help highlight the problem. And also, of course, call the election protection hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE. Videothevote.org.
6. Party at the polls: That’s right. Throw a little party at the polls complete with music, food, face painting, sidewalk chalk and your own creativity. Students in Madison, WI are organizing a photo booth, so that first time voters can take goofy pictures in costume and post them on Facebook. Party or no party, encourage young voters to change their Facebook pic for a few days to say “I Voted Early” or “I Voted” – it’s a great way to remind all your friends to vote.
7. Post-election brunch: Everyone always asks: What about after the election? Here’s what: Brunch! Scrambled eggs! Waffles! Orange juice. Homefries! Get your local folks together, celebrate, debrief and talk about the future. Keep it simple. Just choose a time and place and invite folks. There’s even a new website to help you organize it. movementsalons.org
8. Volunteer for a campaign: And then of course, there’s volunteering for a campaign. You can walk into almost any campaign office this time of year and they’ll put you to work. In addition to the candidate campaigns barackobama.com/gotv#! Worker’s Voice (the AFL-CIO) has a big field presence in FL, MI, OH, PA, WI, NV. You can also Call Out The Vote for Progressive Candidates like Elizabeth Warren. http://www.workersvoice.org/faq calloutthevote.com