What’s better than voting? Voting with friends.
Over the years, voter participation has been in decline. This is especially prevalent in local elections, which are generally the races and issues that are going to have the most immediate impact on our everyday lives. To help reverse this trend, voting has to be perceived as both fun and relevant. People are more likely to vote if they know their friends are doing it too. Really, this has been studied! These connections can be made when you host your friends for a ballot party!
How do I host a ballot party?
Glad you asked! Choose a date. Invite your friends, especially those who might not vote. Have them bring their ballots. Order a pizza or have a potluck. Go through each part of the ballot together. You can look up information on each of the races and initiatives on the internet (see some resources below). Leave room for debate and disagreement. These are your friends, after all!
Let us know how it goes!
If you throw a ballot party, we would love to hear how it goes! You can share information with us through social media or send us a message. We would want to share some stories on a post-election podcast episode. We may even invite someone as a guest on the show.
And what should you be looking out for in the 2018 election?
On the ballot for Olympia voters, you will find federal and state candidates, four statewide initiatives, an advisory vote, several countywide races, and a local initiative. Phew! That’s a lot to dive into. But we’ve listed some resources below to get you started:
The Olympia Standard!
That’s right! Your favorite source of information on local issues is right here! We’ve cataloged all our episodes on the current election. We covered the local contested races and the transit tax proposal, and have an episode where we give a cursory overview of all items on the ballot for Olympia voters.
The Olympia Standard: 2018 Election
Online Voters’ Guides
The voters’ guides offered by the Secretary of State and Thurston County Auditor have the statements from candidates about their campaigns, as well as “pro and con” statements on the individual initiatives.
Federal and State
(pssttt… Olympia voters: You’re in the 22nd legislative and 10th congressional districts)
There are also voter guides and candidate forums offered by sources other than the government election offices.
Ballotpedia (plug in your address, it’ll pull up your ballot information)
Vote 411 (also personalized based on your address)
League of Women Voters Forums (recorded debates with local candidates)
In addition to our podcast and the voters’ guides, there are some endorsement guides that offer their analysis and opinions that are fairly popular for city residents.
Progressive Voters Guide
Endorsements from The Olympian