Do The Cha Cha Slide
This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Consultant Tips” series, written by Charese Fruge on October 27, 2020
America is less than a week away from Election Day 2020 and how many times have you heard that this is the most important election of a lifetime? Everything is at stake! And how many times have you seen the video of people doing the Cha Cha Slide while waiting in long lines to vote? For so many reasons, this is one of the most difficult elections in history. It starts with the pandemic and social distancing, couple that with the controversy of the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in voting, add voter suppression and voter intimidation and you’ve got one big giant CLUSTER to deal with just to exercise your right to vote.
I’ll be honest and tell you that even though this topic has been in the back of my mind, I was inspired to provide this Public Service Announcement by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow who did an in-depth story about it last night. Ironically, one of my colleague’s wives reached out to me last night after seeing the story as well and told me this is something we should get involved in. I agreed 100%. It’s too easy. I’m talking about getting involved with a campaign called “Joy to The Polls.” An attempt to bring joy to voters waiting in early voting lines or even on Election Day. This is a national group whose purpose is to entertain those in line and bring them relief in such frustrating circumstances.
I know it’s a quick turnaround, but this group will help you organize on a local level and even provide you with a tool kit to get started. This is a no brainer for radio. As long as you play it safe, why shouldn’t you be partnering with “Joy to The Polls” to bring relief to local listeners? If you still have one of those old school giant boom box trucks that play the station on blast at events, get it out to polling locations. If you have a DJ (wearing a mask) who can play some great music on site, set up a tent and entertain the people. Have talent hand out water, masks, hand sanitizer, swag etc. (while practicing social distancing). If you have talent who haven’t voted yet, join the lines with the people. Do yourself a favor though…remain neutral. Your only goals out there are to get people to feel good about voting and make sure they have fun while doing it. Another tip or two, make sure you have permission to be on site if you are going big, and if they won’t let you park anywhere near, just drive the station vehicles around the block over and over again.
If you want to take it a step further, there is also an organization called “Election Defenders.” These are regular people who train to provide safe support on Election Day while handing out water and PPE as well. They are trained to de-escalate white supremacist intimidation tactics and signal a network group of lawyers if trouble breaks out at the polls. There is still a training session scheduled for Thursday evening at 8:30 et if you’d like to get involved. Information for both organizations can be found at: