On Wednesday, George Washington could show up to vote early in the primary election.
Hosted by the YWCA of Arizona's STAT team (STAT stands for Stand Together Arizona Training and Advocacy Center), the two-hour event is all about civic engagement — and maybe even enjoying it.
And if that means showing up dressed like George Washington, Ruth Bader Ginsburg or any other patriot, revolutionary or politician, well, then, by all means.
"Folks can bring early ballots, sit with friends, get beers and have some munchies," says Mari Herreras, the director of organizing and advocacy for the STAT team at the YWCA of Southern Arizona. "We'll have some speakers there to encourage discussion and the Pima County Recorder's Office to officially collect the ballots."
The Pima County Recorder's Office confirmed that two representatives will be at the party to collect early ballots directly, since in 2016, the Arizona Legislature made it illegal for third-party groups to collect ballots on behalf of a voter. The primary election is August 28.
Herreras adds that there won't be any candidate endorsements or showboating at the party.
"The speakers that we're going to have will focus on civic engagement, not anyone telling us where people stand on issues or who to vote for," Herreras says.
Unless, of course, Abraham Lincoln or Eleanor Roosevelt pop in. Prizes will be awarded to voters with the best costumes, and Herreras is even daring to imagine a conga line of favorite (or not-so-favorite) politicians.
The team plans to organize a similar party for the general election in the fall. The idea stems from a project kicked off last year. Working with the YWCA in Phoenix, the team traveled around the state — they called it Operation Haboob — to "increase voter engagement and civic participation, identify vulnerable people and hold public officials accountable," Herreras says.
She says this nonpartisan voting party is part of that — to encourage voting and remove some of the drudgery people may feel when sitting down with their ballots.
"We thought this could be the first foray into bringing joy back to civic engagement," Hererras says.
If you go
What: Ballot party
When: Wednesday, Aug. 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: The Dusty Monk Pub, 201 N. Court Ave.
Cost: Free. RSVP to the Facebook event if you plan to go.
More info: Visit the Facebook event