Election Eve Not-so-Fluff: Election Protection Hotline and Other Stuff

1) If you’re going to vote tomorrow, please put the number 866-OUR-VOTE and/or 888-VE-Y-VOTA into your cell phone now, and call one of those if you see any suspicious bullshit at your polling station. They’re the English and Spanish hotlines for the Election Protection coalition, which will be ready to kick up a major fuss about any reports of voter suppression tactics or other shenanigans. According to OTM, volunteers at the hotline can “help you find your polling place, confirm your registration, educate you about the voting laws in your state, or in some cases, send mobile field units or contact election officials directly to address the problem.”

2) If you want to know what I think about Sarah Palin getting pranked by a couple of Quebecois DJs posing as the French president, it’s up at Broadsheet. (Background here, if you missed this story over the weekend.)

3) I have one of the coveted tickets for the party in Grant Park tomorrow night. Part of me feels like I must go, at least for a while, or I’ll regret it for the rest of my life — historic election, historic candidate from my city, celebrating his historic victory (knock wood) in that city, etc. On the other hand: Historic crowds. They’re thinking as many as a million, though there will “only” be 70,000ish in the ticketholders’ area. In my early twenties, I would have enthusiastically stood out there all night, without thinking twice about it. In my early thirties, absolutely no part of that scenario except for the witnessing history part appeals to me. But the witnessing history part really, really appeals. What would Shapelings do?

4) If you’re in California, don’t skip voting just because Obama’s safe there. Get out there and vote No on 8. (Thanks to Faith for reminding me of that in the other thread.)

5) Tomorrow afternoon, I’m going to get my hair done, in hopes that a good head massage and fresh highlights will help keep the nervousness at bay. Other than that, I’m just going to be meditating on this image:

53 thoughts on “Election Eve Not-so-Fluff: Election Protection Hotline and Other Stuff”

  1. I also want to shout-out to the Massachusetts voters who shouldn’t feel okay abstaining because our state’s a lock. We have three really big ballot questions on really meaningful issues and I hope we get a good turnout for those! I also hope we see No on 1 (repealing the state income tax), Yes on 2 (decriminalization of marijuana), and in particular Yes on 3 (ending the cruel and fading practice of greyhound racing) – but whatever you choose, go vote! The electoral college isn’t the only thing at stake, in ANY election year :)

  2. I hate crowded spaces with a passion and am claustrophobic (ok, the second is probable cause for the first), and I would SO go to the do in Grant Park if I had a ticket! At least for a while!

  3. As a former Chicagoan living in Canada, I would give anything to be in Chicago tomorrow night! I definitely think that you should use your ticket and go to the park- what an incredible event.

  4. I voted! By mail. I’m excited.

    I read the Voter Suppression Wiki and was so disgusted I could barely sleep last night.

  5. Question – is the vote hotline non-partisan (i.e., can I forward the number to co-workers without getting into trouble at work? :-))?

  6. LilahMorgan: From the website: “The nonpartisan Election Protection coalition was formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.”

    Looks like you’re good to go.

  7. I would go, but I’m a big fan of history, too. I’m also feeling a little sad because Obama will be in my general area for a rally tonight, but I can’t go because I’ve got a toddler to take care of, and the crowds would be overwhelming for him. Stupid parenthood! So if I was magically childless again for a night, I’d take advantage of it.

    Also, in general in life, I regret saying “no” more than saying “yes.” But YMMV, totally. There’s a big argument for the comfort of home, too!

    In the meantime, I adore that macro!

  8. Darling Californians, may I add a third thing to the list of how great the following votes would be?

    No on Prop 4
    No on Prop 8
    YES on Prop 2 (Farm animal welfare proposition)

    Darling other-staters: there are a couple of other pro-animal-welfare ballot initiatives that I know of:
    Massachusetts: Yes on Prop 3 to Halt Commercial Dog Racing
    Oklahoma: No on State Question 742 to Defend Voters’ Rights to Protect Wildlife

    Thanks for listening!
    XO Lu

    P.S. Kate, I hate crowds but I really got excited about the idea of going to the rally when it was announced. I never heard about how to get a ticket until it was no longer possible. But I think now that I would be inclined to skip it if I had the option to go. It’s just too much, too many, etc. Instead I invited myself to someone’s election-night party and am bringing “champagne” (California champagne).

  9. P.S. It’s not going to be cold tomorrow, it’s going to be warm. Like today, when it’s going to be around 70. Sounds pleasant, temperature-wise. I dunno, maybe it would be fun for you if you went, after all.

  10. Very envious of your ticket, although I am in exactly the same position as Stacy above. I hope you do go and then we can at least hear all about it!

  11. Oh, so jealous! My brother has a ticket too. He’s 6’7″ and weighs 250 lbs. You could just go and stand under him. It would be like having your own room. Seriously, go for a bit but be careful. If the tide starts to turn for McCain, leave.

  12. iiii: that may not be an option –they may be checking ID to make sure it matches the name on the ticket.

    That is indeed the case — so guilt over having taken a ticket from someone who IS willing to go is another thing motivating me to go.

    Sumac, I would love to find your brother! And yeah, I might be bailing early even if things are going Obama’s way — I think it’ll just be too damn much for me. But I also think I’ll hate myself if I don’t go.

  13. Kate, I really think you should go. Who knows when you’ll get this kind of chance again? You may even find, once you’re there, that you want to stay. Have you emailed Liss to get her advice? I know the thing she went to was much smaller, but still . . .

  14. In your place, I would go to the party because I find I tend to regret more strongly the things I failed to do than the things I did.

  15. As much as standing outside with a huge crowd of people in the semi-cold after working all day does not appeal to me, I have a ticket, and I will absolutely be there.

  16. In your place, I would go to the party because I find I tend to regret more strongly the things I failed to do than the things I did.

    For example, I didn’t go the charity viewing of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog in LA on Halloween for very stupid reasons (wasn’t certain about a ride, it costs $15, I was watching Freaks and Geeks).

    And then it turned out that as a special surprise, not only was Felicia Day there, but at the end Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Nathan Fillion and a bunch of other people that I’m really keen on meeting showed up.

    And I’m going to be spending the next year banging my head against a wall every time I think about Halloween because Why Didn’t I GO??? I could have met JOSS WHEDON.

    So. I think you should go. I mean, of course Obama will be there, and you probably won’t be able to get too close, but think about it. Other cool people are bound to show up. And then at least you won’t be at home going “I could have seen JOSS WHEDON. In PERSON. What is WRONG with me?”

  17. celebrating his historic victory (knock wood) in that city, etc

    AARGH DON’T JINX IT! Go outside, turn around three times, and spit! Right now! If Obama loses, IT’S YOUR FAULT FOR JINXING IT!

  18. You’ve GOTTA go. The potential regret if you don’t go is much, much greater than the potential regret if you go and it sucks.

  19. Well, I’m not going to the rally, but that’s mostly because it’s a good friend’s birthday and I have been committed for months to going to her birthday/election watching party. We’ll be with you in spirit from a few miles north!

  20. Oh, Kate, go. You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t.

    And over 3 million people came to the Red Sox victory parade in 2004 (in the rain! in a city of 600,000!) and, honestly, it wasn’t that bad. If this is anything like that, which I suspect it will be, I think you’ll find that your own excitement and the unconcealed joy of those around you will more than make up for any of the unpleasant aspects.

    It is, literally, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Don’t pass it up.


  21. as someone else who is terrible with crowds… i would go. keep your eyes on the stage or up to the sky, if need be.

    technically, every moment is a once-in-a-lifetime event. but few moments are truly historical events. you should go. ^_^

    btw, i seriously need some help. i consider myself fairly savvy with finding things on the internet, but for the life of me i CANNOT find out what is going to be on my ballot! i’ve been able to find out what state-wide propositions will be on it, but i can’t find out who (other than presidential candidates) are going to be on my ballot.

    i suspect i’m just searching under the wrong terms. but i’m getting very frustrated since i want to research the candidates before i’m standing in front of the booth.

    SO, if anyone can help me, i live in Georgia, Cherokee county. i do not want to be an uninformed voter and i feel massively stupid for being unable to find this stuff!

  22. Ohio people, vote yes on issue 5, let’s force payday loan places to lower their interest rates from 391% to 28%! http://www.yesonissue5.com/ This will not force payday lenders to close up shop, it will not cost 5000 Ohioans their jobs.

    On the casino, Issue 6, I’m voting no. I’m not opposed to casinos, but I think this particular one is a bad deal.

  23. Another reason for non-swing staters to turn out – This ones for New York progressives: consider voting for Obama on Row E, the working families party line. It counts the same for him and supports progressive organizing by activists who work for things like a higher minimum wage and paid parental leave.

    more here:

  24. I heard something that most if not all the hotels in the area are full, and they were going to close my school at 4. I got an e-mail this morning saying that time has been pushed up until 2. The city is going to be a massively crazy beehive, and thankfully everyone is preparing for it to be poked with a stick. Not that I want anything bad to happen, but I’m glad everyone isn’t being dumb and assuming that the place won’t be packed.

    People were asking me if I was going, and I said no. But now I kind of want to go hang out. Only I have no one to go with and I poop out really early because I’m farm peoples and 11:30 is way late at night…

  25. I’m 46, painfully inclined to hermitude, and too damn short to see what the hell’s going on in a crowd with a slight tendancy to panic when I can’t get a clear view.

    If I had a ticket, I would definitely be going.

    And I’d just like to remind my fellow California voters that voting AGAINST 4 and 8 and FOR 2 is just plain the Right Thing To Do.

    Don’t make me write this weekend for Manolo for the Brides about how George Takei’s wedding has been downgraded to a committment ceremony with no legal standing or I will cut a bitch, so help me.

  26. I voted last week by mail, and I was wondering if anyone else was an overseas voter, and if so, what was on your ballot? In Wisconsin, apparently, if you live overseas (I’m not military, but the ballot is the same for military and non-military overseas residents) you’re only allowed to vote for president, which seems wrong to me. Anyone else have this scenario?

  27. Go! I’m in an industrial port town in Germany for work this week and by the time the returns come in tomorrow it’ll be 4 AM the day after tomorrow for me, and *someone* has to party for me, dammit! Dance and sing! Celebrate! And I’ll, I don’t know, skip rocks on the North Sea after eating a nice liverwurst breakfast. Which is not a bad celebration either. Now that I think about it, I may be onto something. If I can come up with something joyous to do with herring, I think I’ll have a winner!

  28. Kate, please go! I would give my eyeteeth (whatever those are) to be there, and I know a lot of other people would too, so do it for us. And I’m someone who has panic attacks in groups larger than six, which goes to show you how desperately I want to go…

  29. wiscck — I also voted overseas (permanent absentee in San Francisco) and I only had the federal races on my ballot too. That seems to be the way it works.

    I am really disappointed I didn’t get to vote on the California ballot propositions!

  30. For anyone in Maryland, please vote yes to Question 2. Gambling is a sticky issue, but I would rather have slots in the state that could create tons of new jobs and possible tourism dollars, than more taxes. And since Maryland has a gazillion lottery games, including scratchoffs, Keno, Pick 3, Pick 4, Mega Millions, and Multi Match, I don’t see why there’s such fierce opposition to slots. Gambling is gambling, whether it’s card tables, lottery games, or video machines.

    As for tomorrow’s election, Maryland is a blue state, but my county bleeds red, and we have a lot of extreme right wing Republicans who don’t like McCain because he isn’t conversative enough, but will vote for him because two big things are blinding them: that he was a POW, and Sarah Palin’s extreme far-right political views. (We have two Army bases in my county, so we have a lot of pro-military people, to the point that if you’re against war, you’re not a true American and you don’t care about the soldiers who are serving). So a small part of me feels McCain will win, based on radical patriotism, radical religion, and unfortunately, that he is white.

  31. CA absentee voter (not enough registered voters in my area to justify a “real” voting location – a bit weird), so tomorrow’s more about living through the mambo-ing elephants who have taken to occupying my stomach.

    Having said that, I LOVE the “Everyone Chill…” image. Swear to God, its going to be my desktop image at work and I will be looking at it every five minutes or so in order to maintain sanity.

  32. Obama never convinced me, I voted McCain. (Absentee ballot.)
    I still do not understand this adulation for Obama. He speaks well, but I don’t get any substance by what he says. I voted for who I disliked the least.

  33. Cuyahoga County (OH) people, please yes on 127! (Libraries. But I don’t assume I really need to convince anyone who’s here.)

    Also, as Godless Heathen says, Yes on 5 and NO on 6.

  34. Elizabeth, I read the Fastcase link and holy crap you people have a crazy system *shakes head* I might not be able to vote directly for who I want to be leading my country, given that a) our ceremonial head of state is appointed and b) our actual head of government – Prime Minister – is voted for by the elected representatives of each party, but at least we do actually have a system where the majority vote of the citizenry is respected. There is the occasional margin call when the popular vote is really close, admittedly, but nothing as insane as that Palin scenario.

  35. Erm, that was a pretty dodgy explanation. A clarification – the Prime Minister is the leader of one of the two major parties, Liberal and Labor, who is elected by that party’s parliamentary representatives, not elected by the parliament as a whole.

  36. It: I did that two weeks ago on my absentee ballot! (I’ve been registered as a Working Families Party member for years now, ever since I moved back to NY state)

    Isua: I’m going to bed at around 6pm tonight (also in Germany) to get up really early to watch the returns from around 2am.

  37. I’m on my way to go vote right now.

    I don’t know if there are any Shapelings or lurkers from the great state of Mississippi, but if you’re out there, yes, the state is probably going to go red. Vote anyway. We have that open senate seat Trent Lott left, and wouldn’t it be nice to get Musgrove in there instead of that asshole Roger Wicker? His campaign ads alone make me want to punch him in the head. Don’t let him become our senator!

  38. GAH! My sister is having voting difficulty RIGHT NOW. In frickin’ NEW MEXICO. I’m glad I just emailed to find out when my swing state-dwelling sister was voting — I shall now use this helpful information to help her!

    Also, Schweet Machine, an old friend of mine from high school is turning 30 today. She says all she wants is Obama for President, hee! What a day to turn 30!

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