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October 30, 2008 | 12:00 a.m. CST
What to do, what to do, what to do? Let’s get one thing straight: The Super Bowl might be one of the biggest televison events in the world, but the game of politics has a day of its own that’s even better. In this contest, voting gets you out of the stands and onto the field. In the Super Bowl, coach isn’t going to let you chuck the ball downfield, no matter how sweet your spiral. When it comes to Nov. 4, we’ve got the playbook to keep you going strong from sunup to sundown, so smear on some eye black, and get ready for game day.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. The 100 polling locations are now open until 7 p.m. As a convenience, there are five central polling locations where any registered voter can cast their ballot for those who commute or are just plain lazy. The locations can be found on the County Clerk’s site, showmeboone.com/clerk/. Don’t forget that your engine needs to be firing on all cylinders for America’s true national pastime, so remember to eat breakfast.
America is the land of multitaskers, and anyone eating breakfast without a paper in hand and a TV flickering across the room needs to get serious. Reread the Missourian voter’s guide that you cleverly saved from Nov. 1 to brush up on the local issues important to you. If you didn’t have the foresight to stash Saturday’s paper, find more coverage online at ColumbiaMissourian.com. As for the TV, any 24-hour news network will fit the bill, but keep in mind all stations are not created equal.
CNN boasts a touch screen the size of a double-wide, FOXNEWS is the home of papa-bear Bill O’Reilly and MSNBC’s David Gregory will host in place of duo Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, who were deemed too partisan during their coverage of both national conventions.
Logically, if you want to skip long lines at your polling location, then avoid breaks in the workday such as lunch as well as the rush-hour period. But before you run out for your quadrennial quest, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the process. Missouri uses the optical voting system, a pretentious term for marking a sheet of paper with a permanent marker. For folks who want a little practice before the there-are-no-wrong-answers test, the County Clerk’s site has a sample ballot. Let’s hope they have the same thing in Florida.
When it comes to voting, proving your identity is easy. If you have a voter ID card, driver’s license, state-issued ID, passport, social security card, Medicare or Medicaid card, a government document such as a bill with your name and address or identification issued by a higher-education institution from the state, you’re good to go. If you have none of these, voting should be the least of your worries right now.
Everyone needs to eat, but that’s no excuse to stop the continual influx of info. Make sure to bring your laptop, and hit up a restaurant with free wireless Internet so you can receive up-to-the-second updates from the Web’s myriad political blogs. If you get lost in the ocean of the Web, don’t worry, we’ve brought our sea legs to help you navigate.
FiveThirtyEight – FiveThirtyEight.com (named for the 538 votes in the Electoral College) is a one-person army of analysis and predictions run by Nate Silver, a former managing partner of Baseball Prospectus, a company renowned for its accuracy of predicting statistics for MLB players. Silver used his enormous cranial capacity to give “the best possible objective assessment of the likely outcome of upcoming elections.” The best part of the site: transparency. Silver’s entire formula is published on the site to ensure unbiased results.
The Blue Note, 17 N. Ninth St.,
Hosted by the Boone County
Democratic Party, which hopes to have cameos from local candidates.
Billiards on Broadway, 514 E.
Broadway, 7:30 p.m.
Hosted by Cathy Richards, the Democratic candidate for Boone County public administrator and Chris Kelly, the Democratic candidate for the 24th District seat in the state House of Representatives.
Holiday Inn Select Executive Center, 2200 I-70 Drive SW, 7 p.m.
The Kenny Hulshof campaign will be hosting its watch party, and Hulshof plans on stopping by as he makes his rounds of election night celebrations.
The Heidelberg, 410 S. Ninth St., 6:30 p.m.
This party, hosted by No Content Improv as a fundraiser for Fifth Wall Productions, will feature a theater troupe performing political skits, featuring Sens. Obama and McCain impersonators. Local candidates Chris Dwyer (Senate seat) and Wes Upchurch (Secretary of State) are expected to drop by.
Wonkette – This former child of online-only Gawker Media is the place to go for news sprinkled with a good dose of sarcasm and humor. Don’t take our word for it though, Vanity Fair and Real Simple named it the top policital blog in 2008. The best part: frequency. Wonkette.com posts pop up roughly 20 times daily, and we all know how much America loves anything new.
The Source – If you have time, thesource.typepad.com, a blog focused on watching Missouri-related news blogs, is the perfect portal to news going on throughout the state. Although original content is infrequent, the links will take you wherever your curiosity might lead, even if it’s outside the state. The best part: the links. Think of it as a table of contents for online political news in Missouri.
If you haven’t voted, now is the time to beat the stragglers to the polls. If you need to get off work, practice this excuse in front of your boss: “My (grandma, son, cat) accidentally got (her, his, its) head stuck (in the dinner line at the Old Country Buffet, in between the stair railings, in a pickle jar), and I have to help (her, him, it). I know it’s crazy (insert boss’ name), but you know how much (she, he, it) loves (the early bird special, making my life difficult, pickles).
Polls on the East Coast begin to close. Although each state individually decides the closing time of its polls, a number of East Coast polls should be closing or closed by this time. Grab the remote, and check out your favorite news network to catch early voting results.
If you haven’t voted by now, make sure you’re in line at your designated polling place by 7 p.m. Missouri polls close at 7, but anyone in line before then is still able to cast his or her vote.
Polls close in Missouri. Hope you voted! Polls in other Midwest states should also begin to close around this time, and results from those states should begin to trickle in soon.
After voting, catch the initial coverage at Ragtag Cinema, 10 Hitt St. With plans to show election coverage on its movie screens, Ragtag should provide plenty of television options that will appease everyone. Live improv comedy and theater will be performed during commercial breaks, and the Ragtag’s Web site promises politcal debates and eating contests as well.
Stay in The District for some food, and head over to Boone Tavern, 811 E. Walnut St. The restaurant has a history of being an election night hot spot and has welcomed large crowds for each of the past two major elections. Although Boone Tavern’s normal happy hour ends at 6:30 p.m., election coverage will be displayed on all three of its big screen TVs.
Mojo’s, 1013 Park Ave, will play host to an Election Day concert, featuring Indianapolis indie-rock groups Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s and Wild Sweet Orange. Here’s where you can save some green by doing your American duty. Simply show up to Mojo’s sporting an “I Voted” sticker and receive $3 off the door price. Normal admission is $8.
If live music doesn’t do it for you, stay home, and flip to Comedy Central as the network adds all the satirical flare you’ll need for the the night. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will host specials beginning at 9 p.m. under Comedy Central’s umbrella of “Indecision ’08: America’s Choice.” Each is sure to mix in a number of shots at conservative mavericks and liberal change advocates.
Those in tune with their digital side can also head to YouTube, where the PBS and YouTube-partnered
Video Your Vote project will allow users to document their voting experiences by uploading videos to the site
youtube.com/videoyourvote. PBS will also include uploaded content on its broadcast network.
West Coast polls will be closed by this point, and what better way to catch the updated results than with half-priced drinks? Truman’s Bar and Grill, 3304 W. Broadway, has that and much more. “We’ll have beer, liquor and everything half off all day long,” explains employee Jessica Simpson. Truman’s not only has more than 40 TVs to keep you up-to-date on results but also offers wireless Internet, which will help patrons stay current on the local results that won’t be broadcasted on 24-hour national channels.
As all the news networks will show, the majority of Tuesday night’s candidates will go home losers. However you choose to celebrate after you decide the fate of the politicians with your vote, commemorate Election Day in style. It’s a good way to guarantee you don’t go home in the same demoralized demeanor as that nominee of yours who came up short.