2) Vote Early: CanIVote.org
3) Vote Smart: This is a comprehensive tool worth mentioning twice: VoteSmart.org
4) Vote Together: Convince an on-the-fence voter come with you to the polls, convince a friend to vote, or offer someone a ride to the polls.
5) Share the Wealth: After you've done your homework on candidates and ballot meassures, share that information with others by creating a voter guide through TheBallot.org, and by uploading, printing and sharing w/ your community.
TheBallot.org now features nearly 300 voter guides, representing 47 states. We've hired a high-level publicist, printed 50,000 stickers and large signs for the Sanity rally on Saturday and have dozens of volunteers ready to put stickers on everyone that moves! We expect TheBallot.org to get a huge rush on Monday and Tuesday, and we're adding bandwidth to make sure we can handle huge volume.
Download the Coffee Vote Local Organizers Toolkit
Coffee Party / TheBallot.org VOTER GUIDES
Hype can be purchased, with influence sold separately. But substance cannot be purchased. That's why the Coffee Party will have a lot to say about the long-term future of America.
Millions and millions of dollars are being spent to alienate and demoralize us out of our civic duty. A flood of anonymous money is buying campaign ads with negative, misleading messages. Millions of dollars are being spent to fund, facilitate, and indoctrinate grassroots movements that organize around negative emotions, and news/entertainment channels that profit from division, misinformation, and hyper-partisanship are now donating those profits to political campaigns.
They have the money, but we have the votes. No amount of money can buy the American democracy unless we give it to them.
That's why Coffee Party USA is partnering with TheBallot.org and VoteSmart.org to help ordinary Americans make our own Voter Guides. This is something everyone, everywhere can do. It doesn't take long, and it's actually fun if you do it with your friends.
Why Voter Guides?
Along with manufactured polarization and alienating rhetoric, a big reason why people don't vote is unfamiliarity with the process. To paraphrase Jon Stewart, if you're the type of person to ask yourself if you are informed enough to vote, you're exactly the type of voter we're looking for.
Have you ever gone into a voting booth to find all of these ballot measures you haven't heard of? Often, we leave them blank because we're afraid to mess up, and, this unpleasant experience makes us less likely to return the next time. Voter Guides are a public service for people who, understandably, prefer to gather facts and information before casting a ballot. Informed voters are the ones our country needs most, and you can help empower them.
When you do your research and find out what's on the ballot, why not share that work with fellow Americans? This will be your way of giving back to your community and to your country. With a Voter Guide, you can personally invite fellow Americans to participate in a process that special interests are working so hard to make look uninviting and corrupt.
Non-Partisan does NOT mean neutral
Coffee Party USA is non-partisan organization. Our positions and actions are based on principles, not loyalty to a political party, not fear, and not anger. Your fellow citiznes will appreciate a Voter Guide that simply provides information, such as how to find your poling place (that's an important one!), or describing candidates' positions without offering an analysis. But we also welcome you to indicate the consensus of your chapter with regard to a particular candidate or ballot measure. If some in your chapter dissent from the consensus, they can make their own Voter Guide. We love the idea of having lots of Voter Guides for people to compare and contrast.
All we ask is that your Voter Guides be accurate, that they put the public interest over partisan interests, and that they reflect Coffee Party values such as putting the facts first, focusing on solutions rather than blame, and respecting diverse cultures and diverse perspectives. There are an awful lot of people in this country who share those values. We believe we are the majority of Americans. That's why just a few hours of work from you and your friends can decide an election by helping hundreds or even thousands of people to vote.
How to get started
VoteSmart.org and the League of Women Voters are two reliable websites you can starte with to research your Voter Guide. If there are a lot of races and/or measures on your ballot, divide them up when you research them, and then reconvince as a group to reach a consensus.
When your Voter Guide is complete, please post it on the TheBallot.org so that others can download it. If you're proud of your work, please share it on Facebook, post it on blogs, and spread it using email. And recruit your friends to do the same. Get on a radio show, get in the newspaper, and most of all, print them out, pass them out, door-hang them ... and, as they say in TheBallot.org's AWESOME instructional video below... "Make it rain!"
Here are some resources put together by Asian American Pacific Islander American Vote APIA Vote:
- If you want to find your polling place: http://www.vote411.org
- If you want nonpartisan information like sample ballot and candidate information: http://www.smartvoter.org/
- If you need free multi-lingual assistance with a problem you had at the polls: http://www.smartvoter.org/
- If you haven't registered to vote yet: http://www.apiavote.org/register-vote
- If you need state-specific voting information (rules, deadlines, etc.): http://www.rockthevote.com/election-center
- If you want AAPI youth specific messaging from our partner, Engage Her: http://www.youthchargenow.org/
This video shows Annabel Park & Eric Byler explaining Coffee Vote:
In this video, Annabel Park expands on the idea of broad civic participation as the best counter to the politics of extremism and division: