Here we go. After what must have been one of the most contentious, crass and anxiety-inducing presidential contests in the nation’s history, Election Day is finally upon us.
Polls close at 8pm, after which the results-watching parties will get into full swing. San Jose Inside will make the rounds to get some reaction from local candidates and take photos of the night as it unfolds. We’ll live-tweet some of the action, so make sure to follow us at @SanJoseInside for the latest.
If you haven’t already cast your ballot, be sure to do so before deadline. For a refresher on the 17 statewide initiatives, 32 local measures and myriad local races on the South Bay ballot, take a look at our archived election coverage right here.
To find your polling place, enter your home address into this search bar on the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters (ROV) website. Vote-by-mail ballots have to be postmarked with today’s date, so get on that sooner rather than later. Or, drop it off at any of the locations listed on this page.
Plan to commemorate the occasion with a selfie? Take it outside the voting booth, ROV spokesman Philip Chantri advises. Until a new law legalizing voting booth selfies kicks in on Jan. 1, he said, they’re officially frowned upon.
Once you cast your vote and collect a sticker to prove it, take advantage of some Election Day perks, like a free Krispy Kreme donut or complimentary coffee at 7-Eleven. Uber and Lyft are offering discounts on trips to the polls, while Zipcar will comp the ride.
Maybe line up a ride home for later, if you plan to—understandably—take the edge off with a drink or few at an election watch shindig. The high-stakes presidential contest has apparently taken enough of a psychological toll for people across party lines to seek mental health counseling. A recent poll commissioned by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that more than half of adults called the 2016 election a significant source of stress.
“Election stress becomes exacerbated by arguments, stories, images and video on social media that can heighten concern and frustration,” Lynn Bufka, APA’s associate policy director, said in announcing the study. “Particularly with thousands of comments that can range from factual to hostile or even inflammatory.”
The APA offered a few tips to cope, such as tuning out of the round-the-clock news cycle and reading only enough to stay informed. If you’d rather stick it out for one more night, there’s a quicker fix. The Village Voice’s “voter’s little helper” guide suggests which intoxicant works best for certain election-induced mental maladies.
Once properly medicated, it’s time to brace for the outcome. National results will live-stream on a bunch of different YouTube channels, including The Young Turks, PBS NewsHour, Telemundo, Democracy Now, Bloomberg and MTV News, to name just a few. BuzzFeed teamed up with Twitter to create a nifty little landing page that will start streaming live results starting five hours before the polls close in California. For your 420 fix, tune in to CannabisRadio.com, which kicks off a six-hour broadcast at 3pm dedicated exclusively to marijuana legalization measures in California and beyond.
Locally, election officials plan to post the first round of returns shortly after the polls close. Here’s the link. Updated results should post every hour or so after that.
But no need to stay behind your laptop obsessively refreshing that link all night. Mingle with fellow voters at an election watch party. SoFA Market hosts one that starts at 6pm. Other spots to hit up: the South Bay Labor Council, the Santa Clara County Democratic Party campaign HQ at The Plant, San Jose State’s student get-together at 4th Street Pizza or Donald Trump’s Sunnyvale hub.
By the end of it all, some 100 million individual ballots will get whittled down to 538 votes in the Electoral College, which ultimately picks the next president.
Let’s do this.