The 2020 election will be one for the history books. Not only will many of us be voting differently — whether that be because of mail-in ballots or masked in-person voting — the way we watch the election results will be different as well. If you’re looking to host a virtual 2020 election party, you’ve got plenty of ways to make sure you can watch the results with your friends and family.
Virtual watch parties will be happening all across the country on Nov. 3. The Ohio Democratic Party is hosting a watch party and the invite is open to anyone regardless of where you live. Many candidates are holding virtual election night parties rather than having large gatherings as per usual. Organizations like We Will, a group ensuring female involvement in the political process, are hosting fundraiser watch parties to raise money while they await election results.
If you want to see if there are any virtual election watch parties already in the works, check out your local political organization on Facebook or Meetup and see if there’s a Nov. 3 event you can attend. Can’t pick a preferred watch party? Make a stop at multiple virtual events throughout the night.
If you’re looking to host your own virtual watch party, here are some things to you'll want to keep in mind when holding an election party on Zoom.
Pick Your Live-Stream
Most major news outlets from CNN to MSNBC to ABC will be covering the election on Nov. 3. Shows The Daily Show will also be doing their own coverage if you prefer your politics with a comedic spin. If you want to ensure all your party-goers are watching the same stream, you can screen share on Zoom. You can also just drop some links in the chat so people can watch whichever coverage they want.
Consider Doing An “Open House”
It’s going to be a long night. Rather than having a set time for people to show up to your virtual election party, consider keeping your Zoom open from 7 p.m. until midnight, or however late you feel like staying up to watch the results. That way people can come and go as they please and you can limit your collective emotional roller coaster a bit.
Make It A Game
Obviously, the 2020 presidential election is no joke. But you can at least get a little enjoyment out of the results by adding an election-themed game to it. Make a donation to a progressive organization every time a red state gets its results. Take a drink when your county announces local winners. Down your drink — either out of celebration or sorrow — when the national results are getting close.
Whether from physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion, everyone’s going to need to take a few breaks throughout election night. Plan to have a quick dance party every hour on the hour. I highly recommend putting Ziwe’s “Make It Clap For Democracy” on repeat. Take mandatory TikTok breaks every so often and have people drop their favorite finds in the chat. Lie on the ground and scream in the abyss. Anything to release some steam and give your brain a break.
Keep In Mind We Might Not Get Immediate Results
Given the number of people voting via mail-in ballot this year, there’s a strong possibility we won’t know the official outcome of the election until the days following Nov. 3. With that in mind, managing expectations for the election results will be crucial to your celebration. Even if the results aren't final Tuesday night, you can still spend your virtual election party keeping each other sane.