The college crowd is undeniably passionate about the elections, with politically charged Facebook posts clogging our newsfeeds, tweets poking fun at the gaffes of presidential candidates and Instagram snapshots showcasing completed voter registration forms and absentee ballots.
Simply put, it seems that voting is cooler than ever before.
Yet, when it comes to the day election results are announced — the results after all the money spent, speeches delivered and babies kissed — students are, surprisingly, less than enthusiastic.
“Following the election live always takes forever,” said Johnson Hsieh, a sophomore majoring in computer science. “It’s just not worth the time to follow the entire process.”
Even though waiting and watching for the election results can be tedious, there are a number of ways to spice up what would otherwise be a very long and only mildly stimulating political broadcast.
There is no better way to galvanize friends and classmates into watching the election results than with a grand old party. In order to add a touch of “D.C.” to the party, have everyone come dressed in professional attire — suits, ties, blazers and briefcases. (An exception can be made for those who decide to dress as a baffled Big Bird.)
Though people might side with different political parties, these Election Day parties are nevertheless American, so bring guests (however politically-divided they might be) closer with red, white and blue silverware. As for appetizers and finger foods, why not eat what the candidates are eating?
From ordering dim sum during a trip to San Francisco to enjoying a good burger with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, President Barack Obama has quite the diverse palate. Serving some of Obama’s favorite campaign trail foods, such as homemade chili, pie and pizza, makes a great way to put a political spin on ordinary dishes.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, on the other hand, sticks to healthy snacks and basic comfort food. Yet when it comes time to indulge, the Republican presidential candidate looks to peanut butter and honey sandwiches and meatloaf cakes.
As for dessert, stick to patriotically influenced sweets — red, white and blue jello, tri-colored cake pops and chocolate brownies smothered in whipped cream and topped with raspberries and blueberries, to name just a few suggestions.
And no party is complete without games and activities. Instead of singling out the Democrats with “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” make sure to provide “Pin the Tail on the Elephant” to balance things out. Or, better yet, make an Election Day scrapbook. Have guests bring their old magazines and try to fill a whole binder with cutouts of women before the results are announced.
But if this all sounds a little too cheesy, there are also Election Day parties going on all over Los Angeles.
Grand Park, Los Angeles’ newest public park located by City Hall, will host “Park Your Politics.” In addition to a 30-foot screen projecting the election coverage, there will also be DJs, street artists, food trucks and a beer garden. So even if the results start becoming uninteresting, there are plenty of others activities in which to partake.
And starting at 4 p.m. on Election Day, both La Poubelle Bistro & Bar in Hollywood and The Association LA in Downtown will host Election Day parties, complete with small plates, HD Plasma televisions and surround sound.
Don’t want to go out? USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will host “Road to the White House 2012: Election Night Results” at the Tutor Campus Center starting at 5 p.m. There will be a free photo booth and Traditions will offer a 50 percent discount on a special election-themed menu to whomever is sporting an “I Voted” sticker.
But perhaps even Election Day parties seem too lengthy. Maybe there is a midterm the next day or project that needs to be finished. Regardless, there are still ways to get in on the results without having to host or attend a party.
Follow the results with apps for iPhones, iPads and Androids, including Poll Tracker, NBC Politics and Politifact. Or check MSNBC or CNN online from time to time for updates on the election results.
Regardless of how Election Day is spent, when the results are tallied up and the president-elect is finally announced, whoever it might be, try not to let results put a damper on your whole night.