Halloween is that one day of the year where random knocks on the door are typically not Girl Scouts or Jehovah's Witnesses (though both have become acceptable costumes). Point is, answering it will usually only cost you a few pieces of candy. But for the third year now, the get-out-the-vote organization, the Washington Bus, is doing its best to make your trip to the door cost some civic duties as well as mini-Snickers bars, with their "Trick or Vote" costume canvassing operation.
Beginning early Halloween night, hundreds of volunteers who decided to do something more productive than chug party punch and scheme on sexy nurses, nuns and cops will be scaring up votes in Seattle, Spokane and Vancouver.
bills itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort to get young people to give a shit about elections and politics in general. Alex Miller, outreach coordinator for the Trick or Vote operation, was up late at the group's Seattle office. And despite prognosticators nationwide assuring that without a wedge issue like pot legalization on the ballot, youth turnout will be a fraction of what it was in the Obama wave of '08, he tells the Daily Weekly that youngsters are indeed fired up.
"So far we're looking at 300 to 400 volunteers in Seattle alone, and another 100 to 200 in Spokane and Vancouver," he says. "That's about as many as we had in '08. Young people are energized and enthusiastic. As for Halloween, we like to say it's the best way on the best day. There's no better day to knock on someone's door; they are excited you're there and will give you candy, plus it's two days before the election."
Whether a "are you planning to vote? Why not?" spiel is grounds for forfeiture of a candy reward, or cause to double down on it, is up to you. But just know that not every little ghoul and ghost at the door is there without another agenda.
Here's Marsha Willingstone explaining why she can't just go to a Halloween party like everyone else.