Election Day Necessities

In anticipation of long lines at polling stations across the country, here are a few lists to help you persevere over the wait…

Things To Bring With You

  1. Digital music player. Downing out election line chatter is a must as it tends to be some of the most irritating public small talk around.
  2. Cell phone. If lines are particularly long and you leave to vote during the work day, you may need to call your employer to ask permission to stay. A personal request: when talking on your cell, please use your “indoor voice.”
  3. Lightweight canvas folding chair. Who likes standing up for four+ hours at a time?
  4. Laptop (the lighter the better). If you’re lucky enough to have a wireless signal around you can stay up on latest news or watch a DVD.
  5. Extra batteries for all those portable electronics.
  6. Books/magazines. If you’re a real work geek, bring reports or paperwork. If you’re not the reading type but don’t want to listen to music, bring along a book on CD/MP3.
  7. Snacks and water. Just don’t drink too much; you don’t want to lose your place in line to use the bathroom.
  8. Comfortable shoes.
  9. Kleenex.
  10. A friend.

If your polling station requires waiting in line outside, consider bring along the following:

  1. Weather appropriate clothing. Check the hour by hour weather forecast before you leave.
  2. Sunglasses.

Things To Do While Waiting In Line

  1. Don't allow bad weather to keep you away from the polls. Show up prepared!
    Don't allow bad weather to keep you from the polls. Come prepared!

    If you have internet access, catch up on all your favorite Inside The Arts and culture related blogs.

  2. Bone up on local and state election issues. If you’re like most folks, you might not know about some of the miscellaneous issues waiting for you in the polling booth. As such, if you have access to the internet visit http://www.vote411.org/ to find issues and candidates on your respective ballot.
  3. Talk to your neighbor. If you’re not very good at starting conversations with complete strangers visit this guide on how to make small talk

This election is one for the history books so don’t let long lines or overwhelmed election workers deter you from persevering. Above all else, bring along patience and a sense of humor and make your vote count!

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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2 thoughts on “Election Day Necessities”

  1. BRING A PEN! My precinct had a severe shortage of pens to fill out ballot forms which was causing a great deal of frustration for everyone. If you’re a real Good Samaritan, bring a box of pens and leave them for the election workers.

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