This Halloween, trick or vote

By Mollie Ruskin of Portland, Oregon. Mollie is the Building Votes organizer for the Bus Project.

Find your inner Frankenstein, knock on some doors in costume, then party down with like-minded monsters at Trick or Vote—the nation's spookiest nonpartisan get-out-the-vote effort.

The Best Way on the Best Day:

Studies show that the most effective way to get people to vote is to simply ask them (to their face). And what's the one day each year that people actually expect strangers to knock on their doors? Halloween, of course, which takes place at the same time every year: Just days before the General Election.

Launched in 2004, when the Oregon Bus Project's 850-person Trick or Vote event set the record for the biggest canvass in state history, Trick or Vote has grown tremendously in 2008.

This year, Trick or Vote events will be going down in over 30 cities and 50 college campuses nationwide to fight the fright of young voter apathy. Trick or Vote 2008 is the effort of a national coalition of over thirty leading youth engagement organizations working to make targeted voter contacts in urban areas on Halloween. Just days before the election, costumed volunteers will canvass low-turnout, youth-dense precincts to remind people to vote, distribute nonpartisan voter guides, and generate both grassroots and media awareness before Election Day.

Participation in Trick or Vote is Simple, Fun & Costumed:

Get started by signing up at TrickorVote.org. On Halloween, you'll get a spookily simple training by expert Trick or Trainers, then knock on some blood-curdling doors to creep-out-the-vote. Afterward, you and your ghoulish friends can toast your success with live music and Halloween shenanigans at the Trick or Vote afterparty.

Don't let the day after the election be the scariest day of the year.

Trick or Vote!

Comments

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Just as an informational addition here - It has been a holloween tradition in many neighborhoods that if a house's porch light is off, you do not knock on thier door for your candy fix. I would ask of those who are going for this to ask you to vote, to rightfully respect this tradition as well. Many people believe that this kind of knocking on doors to see if you have voted or are going to vote is the same as those pesky robo-calls you have all been screaming about.

    So...if the light is out, PLEASE don't bother knocking. Just because you have the constitutional right to ask for votes, does not entitle you to do so indescriminatly and disturb one's choice of privacy.

    Thank you!

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    The dancing at the end is awesome.

  • Lennon (unverified)
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    Eric,

    With all due respect, I think there's a huge difference between a volunteer GOTV canvass and a robocall campaign. Simply knocking on a registered voter's door to remind them to turn in their ballot is not an invasion of privacy -- you made your address and voting status public when you registered to vote.

    Along with the privilege of voting comes the responsibility to participate in the public dialogue about our government. Furthermore, if you don't want canvassers coming to your door, there's a very simple solution: vote early.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    'Simply knocking on a registered voter's door to remind them to turn in their ballot is not an invasion of privacy -- you made your address and voting status public when you registered to vote.'

    But that does not entitle you to knock on a door because of that status. Just because it is public does not entitle you to abuse another's wishes.

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    Sorry Eric but you are dead wrong here. It is an attitude like that that has splintered our society. There was a time when neighbors cared for neighbors. Trick or Vote is in the spirit of that caring. Making sure everyone is informed.

    Keep this in mind about Trick or Vote. This is a non-partisan act. These folks knocking on your door are not telling you HOW to vote, they are just reminding you TO vote. It's that simple. Furthermore, in Oregon you have a unique opportunity to remove yourself from the rolls long before the votes are counted. So if you have already voted, no costumed vote reminder will hit your door. Kids asking for candy, you can't get away from that.

    The bottom line here is that there is no invasion of privacy. Asking to see your ballot or asking how you voted could be considered that, but you are an adult and have the capability to say no. Generally most volunteers, like myself, respect that right and never push the issue. This is just a friendly reminder on a day that people will be knocking on your door anyway. Lighten up and embrace the fact that folks are volunteer to improve our democracy.

    Trick or Vote is an activity to get people of all ages involved in the political process. I applaud the efforts of the Bus Project and can't wait to be a Trick or Voter myself. You should give it a try Eric, you just might enjoy it.

  • Sybrie St.Clair (unverified)
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    I have to side with Eric on this one. If a household has their porch light turned off- please respect the request of "Do Not Disturb." Perhaps they have to get up very early in the morning for work, perhaps they have a sick child that needs their rest, perhaps they have a very nervous dog that freaks out every Halloween because a bunch of strangers are invading their space... You do not know, and so do not assume they want you ringing their doorbell regardless. Please have the common courtesy to defer to the homeowner's wishes.

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    Sybrie,

    I think Eric is reaching at a deeper issue here. It seems to me that Eric, and maybe you, are sick of people bothering you this election cycle? Well, one, it will all be over in 5 days and two, if you have voted, it won't be a Trick or Voter at your door tomorrow night.

    Furthermore, I understand the lights out, do not disturb argument. I am sure most volunteers understand that signal as well. So if you are worried about a late night doorbell ringing from a Trick or Voter, no worries, Trick or Voting should be done by 7:30/8:00pm, because we have a killer party to get to.

  • Scott J (unverified)
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    You must be out of touch with moderates, thus destined to turn them off (not that it matters in this Obama hotbed).

    This is an evening for cute children. Injecting politics into what is supposed to be a fun time for KIDS is just going over the top.

    While many will politely tell you that they will vote, most will resent you coming to their door when the expected cute kids in Dracula outfits.

    Maybe you should dress up as Karl Marx. At least they'll chuckle.

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    Scott, Sybrie, and Eric...Happy Halloween!

  • Doug (unverified)
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    That video was dumb.

  • The Mummy (unverified)
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    There are doorhangers for the not-at-homes and the do-not-disturbs.

    Response historically has been more positive than with typical canvasses...and FAR better than with robocalls or even many paid phone banks.

    Also, people are welcome to come to the party Friday night. It'll be fun.

    Now I gotta go recycle my bandages.

    Trick-or-Vooote!

  • genop (unverified)
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    Warning, those planning to cross dress as Palin, please be cautious while walking in those pumps lest you pull an Oden.

  • Dracula (unverified)
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    Doug, I will bite you.

  • Ian (unverified)
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    For another (less-meta) video, (Almost YouTube 160,000 views) check out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tsEUrEtzlQ&feature=channel

    And you can also check out all the monster interviews and some out-takes.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    I feel like I just received a Halloween trick in the mail--it's a flyer that reads "the truth: you have too many reasons to vote for anyone but Jeff Merkley". What does that mean to you? I had to read it several times. It must be some kind of double-negative reverse logic thing. But so far, everyone here agrees: it means "vote for anyone but Jeff Merkley". What does it mean to you? Who do you think sent it, and what do you think they are trying to say?

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Along with the privilege of voting comes the responsibility to participate in the public dialogue about our government.

    Don't recall seeing that on the registration card...Sure as hell not in the Constitution either. Where do you get such an idea?

  • Scott J (unverified)
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    I'll dress up as Tony Rezko and offer to sell people some land at 1/2 market value. You can dress up as Ayers and put a bomb at the doorstep as you leave.

  • Peter (unverified)
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    Yay Mollie and the Bus Project!

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    No one is taking the bait...the misleading flyer came from the Oregon AFL-CIO. Oops!

    I am 90% sure that "you have too many reasons to vote for anyone but Jeff Merkley" does not mean what they wanted it to mean.

    Trick or treat!

  • Jake (unverified)
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    I'll dress up as Tony Rezko and offer to sell people some land at 1/2 market value. You can dress up as Ayers and put a bomb at the doorstep as you leave.

    I'll dress up as Dennis Hastert and write a highway bill that turns me a $2.018 million profit on a real estate investment. Will you shut up about Rezko already?

  • Jake Oken-Berg (unverified)
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    I'm looking forward to Trick Or Vote. I canvassed in 2004 and 2006 with my parents and siblings. It's always a blast and not a single person I've spoken to has been annoyed. People liked the reminder and the info we offered on the nearest ballot drop off location was appreciated. And as Dan pointed out, the canvass ends by 7:30pm or 8pm.

    If you're in Portland, head over to AudioCinema at 226 SE Madison St at 3:30pm or 5:30pm and then join the big party afterward!

  • Scott J (unverified)
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    Jake,

    I'm sorry for using any sense of humor on something that is so sensitive.

    I should have went with something that isn't in dispute. Should have said I'd dress up as Harold Raines, the ex-CEO of Fannie Mae that resigned in disgrace after cooking the books to make his bonus a few years back.

    He has been (I believe still is) and advisor to Barack.

  • (Show?)
    <h2>Looking forward to it. I'll have 5 kids in tow. If three 8th grade girls can't scare them into turning in their ballots, I don't know what will.</h2>
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