Election Day Party Planning

voteWhat better way is there to celebrate democracy than to host an Election Day party? It doesn't matter which political party you belong to -- win or lose, a big bash will help you and your friends pass time quickly while waiting for poll results.

Want to get in on the act? Spread the patriotic spirit by planning an Election Day party that will encourage voting and support your favorite candidates. As soon as you make the decision, get the word out so that those that are not registered to vote will be inspired to do so before the big day. Now that's success!

Location

The place of your party should be thought out carefully. A private home is convenient because you can use it for an unspecified amount of time. Election Day runs well into the evening and into the nighttime hours if you're waiting for the poll results. Renting space also has it's benefits. You can choose a location near a polling station that will help increase voter turnout at both the station and your party. A room in a restaurant means that food is readily available and there will be more menu choices. However, you're going to need more resources, and lots of them.

Whatever location you choose, you should provide easy access to the media. It could be a fierce race riddled with uncertainty. Incidentally, people will flock to the place that offers the most information. Your election party will be a success if you choose a good location that has televisions (tuned in to different stations,) a radio, phones (not quite as crucial in the cell phone age,) and ideally, access to the Internet. A map of the states and time zones will help you with the "big picture" if you mark the results as they come in.

Decorations

Decorating is easy! Deck the halls with a patriotic theme and all things red, white, and blue. Democrat or Republican, your guests will appreciate an atmosphere that celebrates freedom or an Inauguration Day to be remembered. Patriotic supplies are better stocked at stores in the year of a presidential election. Whatever time of the year, they can always be found online or at your local party supply store. If you have the foresight, stock up in the summer, when you can easily find decorations for Memorial Day, Flag Day, or the 4th of July.

Uncle Sam is a popular character that represents the government and the United States. A large, wooden cutout can be placed near the doorway as a greeting -- unless, of course, you have someone in mind that will dress up in an Uncle Sam costume and welcome your guests. For a bipartisan celebration, decorate for both major political parties. A donkey represents the democratic party. Likewise, an elephant represents the republicans. Don't forget to display an American flag, the most highly regarded symbol in United States history.

Entertainment

Depending on the demographic of the guests, your party can support a specific candidate or generate interest in voting, similar to "Rock the Vote," which encourages voter registration and participation. For sure, it's going to be a long day. As it progresses, people may become tired from standing in line. Liven things up by hiring professional entertainment such as a D.J., band, or comedian who tells political jokes.

Schools are a great place to begin education about the political process and how important it is to begin voting when they become of age. In the classroom, prepare students with activities and games that will inspire a patriotic spirit while teaching them how the system works. A political trivia contest is a perfect way to quiz them on the basics. Political movies or songs are a great topic for a game of charades. Compile a crossword puzzle or word search to print off and distribute for a little quiet time.

Menu

What's a party without food? Satiate guests with a traditional menu that is appropriate for guests on the run. This means something light, such as sandwiches and finger-foods that are easy to prepare and serve. If you want something a little heavier, continue with a patriotic theme by having a backyard barbeque, complete with burgers or BBQ sandwiches, salads, and a red, white, and blue cake. Need help? Make it a potluck and ask guests to bring something for the table, which should be near electrical outlets for easy access.