This Halloween, Forward MT Foundation and hundreds of young Montanans will get decked out as ghosts and goblins—not for candy but for democracy. These Trick-or-Voters will go door-to-door to remind their peers to vote in the November election and then spend the night shaking their boooooooooooties for America. In cities across the nation, Trick or Vote offers youth a signature mix of epic costume parties and direct community service, with proven results.
Trick or Vote is the nation’s largest (and possibly only) costumed get-out-the-vote effort, led by local volunteers in cities across the country. This year more than 250 organizations in 41 states will be hosting Trick or Vote events. According to a study conducted by Yale University, knocking on doors can increase voter turnout by 8-12%, more than any other activity. Any grade-schooler can tell you that there is one night a year Americans expect a knock on their door: Halloween (which happens to fall just a few days before Election Day).
“It’s the best way on the best day” said Kayje Booker, “And it’s giving thousands of young people their first taste of delicious democracy.” One third of Trick or Vote participants surveyed in 2008 responded that it was their first volunteer experience. By tapping into the masked magic and mayhem of Halloween, Trick or Vote gives young people an easy entry into civic engagement. In 2010, FMF had 103 volunteers and knocked on over 5,400 doors.
This year, Missoula and Bozeman Trick or Vote events will draw over 200 young volunteers for an action-packed get-out-the-vote effort that will be sweet as candy. The national effort is coordinated by the Bus Federation Civic Fund and features partners from across the country. For a glimpse into Trick or Vote’s signature mix of humor and democracy, check out the latest batch of volunteer-created monster videos now available at trickorvote.org.
Volunteers will meet up at the Stensrud Event Center in Missoula or Room 233 of the Student Union Building in Bozeman on October 31 at 5:30pm and walk the city to remind people to vote. After the canvass, volunteers will be treated to an epic Halloween party, featuring contests, prizes, live music, and more. Costumes required!