Manage Your Pre-Election Anxiety with Progressive Pumpkins

Get Out the Seeds to Get Out the Vote

Kathleen Toohill
Oct 30, 2018 · 3 min read

By now your various social media feeds are saturated with talk about voting plans, but if you don’t have a pumpkin plan, rest assured you are a massive disappointment to your fellow progressives. We’re here to help turn that wrong into a right (by which we mean left).

Sure, phone and text banking are nice, and knocking on doors can’t hurt, but if you’re looking for a surefire way move the needle this election cycle, consider carving a political message or twelve into your pumpkins. And what better way to manage your pre-election jitters than by attempting a feat that will make you cry tears of frustration, making you forget all about crying tears of existential dread?

Considering our founding fathers were willing to give their lives for the right to vote, the least you could do is spend an hour or twenty-five carving pumpkins to fully take advantage of that right. “No taxation without representation,” the founding fathers said, and also, “slavery is cool, I guess” and “make me a crumpet, woman” but let’s focus on the first thing for now.

Preliminary data* indicates that voters are 12.2% more likely to vote if they’ve seen a carved pumpkin that aligns with their political ideology within the last seven days. Progressive pumpkins are a great way to do your part to get out the vote. They’re also a great way to get pumpkin innards smeared across your two-panel garage, but let’s focus on the first thing.

There are plenty of ways to express your progressive ideology in pumpkin form. Are you gaga for Gillum? Wacky for Warren? Bananas for Beto? Well, are you?! If you haven’t carved a pumpkin with one of their faces on it and displayed it proudly outside your house, how would you expect anyone to know?

If you lack the courage, or the technical skills, to carve a face, we recommend the more neutral messaging “vote, you idiot.” If you want to be especially helpful, go ahead and carve the address of your polling place right into that pumpkin. Your neighbors will thank you later.

If you’d like to try your hand at carving a donkey, more power to you! Just follow these .

If you’re feeling especially crafty and angst-ridden, we recommend carving a pumpkin for each of the propositions on your state ballot. You might be asking: wouldn’t my time be better spent researching the propositions? To which we say: yes, probably! So get your election guide and spread that baby out on your kitchen table — you’re going to need it to protect your varnished wood from all the sticky pumpkin goo.

As you plunge your hands into the depths of your pumpkin and pull out heaping handfuls of pumpkin guts, think long and hard about what’s at stake in this election: like your healthcare, the fate of our democracy, and the fate of the planet, just to name a few. You could be rage tweeting right now, or wallowing in despair, but instead, you are taking a small but concrete step toward saving our democracy.

After you separate the seeds from the pumpkin innards, lay them out on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt. Count the seeds before you put them in the oven — if there are 218 or more, this is a sign that Democrats will likely take back the House. If there are fewer than 218, burn those suckers to a crisp and bring them straight next door to that Republican family who just wishes we could go back to a time when “everyone got along” and people didn’t insert their political views into their Halloween pumpkins.

When you hand them the burnt remains of the seeds, tell them this is what we’re all going to look in 12 years like when the sun has desiccated our bodies and the Earth is no longer habitable by humans. They’ll smile and nod and then call the police on you, because that’s what they do best. Who said bipartisan dialogue was dead?

Post updated 10/31 at 5:14pm: Since a few of you have asked, carving a pumpkin does NOT constitute filling out a ballot — you still have to .

*Sample size: four. Margin of error: 72%

Kathleen Toohill

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Words in @tnyshouts, @TheAtlantic, @mcsweeneys, @CatapultStory, @ElectricLit, @yelp. Defender of puns. Former sunflower seed butter apologist.