Midterm elections are surrounded by so much hype this year that some are comparing them to the Super Bowl. But there's an important difference: In football, the worst-case scenario is your team loses and those Fantasy Football projections suffer a nosedive. The upcoming elections will do much more than merely elect new representatives and enact state ballot initiatives. Will Democrats gain control of Congress? Or will Republicans retain their hold on the legislative branch? What happens next will shape the narrative of a nation more divided than a layered bundt cake.
Imprinted in our memories, social media feeds, and waking consciousness, November 6 offers the answers to our questions, the date looming as last-minute campaigns rampage every corner of the country. Anxiety about the fate of our world as we know it has reigned supreme these past few months. Now we prepare to segue into a night of heavy expectation.
So it just doesn't make sense to be alone on Election Night when those results come rolling in. Whether you're ecstatic that your number one candidate has won or internally sobbing over an amendment you didn't want to see pass, it's imperative you're surrounded by people who can share in your joy or misery or dumbfounded confusion. At the end of the day, the community around you is what it's all about.
To ensure you're in the right company, we've curated a list of the top spots for you to spend your election watch evening. From beer havens to activist hubs, we've got you covered. Did we mention all of these are totally free?
1. MTV's Election Afterparty. MTV's been busy. Not only is it hosting the largest youth-focused election party in the country, but the television channel has been pushing its +1 the Vote campaign, its first-ever midterms drive encouraging youth to turn out. “This is a generation that ritualizes everything,” said Chris McCarthy, president of MTV. “They celebrate moments with their friends, whether it is through throwback Thursdays or birthdays or Halloween. So we wanted to help ritualize the idea of civic engagement.”
Lucky for us, that colossal election afterparty is happening right here November 6 at Miami Dade College. It'll feature performances by Fat Joe,
Charlamagne Tha God and Liza Koshy will
2. Miami-Dade Democrats Election Night Party. If you're all about the blue wave sweeping the nation this election season, you're probably looking to watch the results with others who have voted in alignment with you. The Miami-Dade Democrats are offering that screening haven. They'll be hosting their election night watch party at Hotel Gaythering, a four-star Lincoln Road hotel ranked as one of Yelp's Top 10 Gay Bars in the U.S. Happy hour is a given for this shindig, as are light snacks and good company, the event advert assures. 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 6, at Hotel Gaythering, 1409 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach.
3. GOP Watch Party. For conservative readers, there are a few places you can celebrate or commiserate, too. South Broward's GOP headquarters is opening its doors to fellow Republicans. Head to Cooper City where the event will take place at the local organization's office after voting. Phone-banking through the evening is a given, or so organizer Nilsa Alvarez illustrates in the event details. 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, November 6, at South Broward GOP, 2685 N. Hiatus Rd., Cooper City. Admission is free.
4. The ACLU of Florida's Yes on 4 Election Watch Party. One of Miami's most renowned activist organizations, the ACLU of Florida has its HQ in our bustling city, and it's been hard at work this election season. Above all other causes, the group has been canvassing voters for a yes on Amendment 4, which would restore voting rights for 1.5 million ex-felons.
Thematically, the nonprofit organization's election results party will reflect that campaign. Raymer Maguire is the ACLU of Florida's criminal justice reform manager, and he says the celebration is for "anyone and everyone that believes in second chances."
Maguire says the night is for all who've worked to pass Amendment 4. The organization predicts 4 million votes will be cast in favor of the initiative through November 6. What about the event itself? Maguire says: "Ben and Jerry's will be giving away free ice cream, Haitian and Jamaican food will be catered in, a local DJ will be playing, and a brilliant local artist... will be painting what second chances mean to him." In addition, projectors will be hooked up to 15-foot screens showing live election results as they come in. 7 p.m. to midnight Tuesday, November 6, at Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Ter., Miami; aclufl.org/electionnight. Admission is free.
5. University of Miami Extravaganza Watch Party. The Canes community is opening its election viewing party doors for an evening at the campus watering hole. The college's Get Out the Vote (GOTV) student initiative has been empowering and encouraging students to get involved in midterms; it even offered free transportation to students for early voting. It doesn't stop there: The group is holding an Extravaganza Watch Party election night at UM's campus bar, the Rathskeller.
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If you've never been, the pub's quintessential wings and beer make for a fine evening indeed. Beer and congressional candidates, anyone? Nonpartisan election result viewing is certainly worthy of a celebration. 6:45 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, November 6, at the Rathskeller, 1330 Miller Dr., Coral Gables; rathskeller.studentaffairs.miami.edu. Admission is free.
6. Urban League of Broward County YPN & Social Change Miami. Don't worry, Broward readers: There are first-rate gatherings happening near you, too. The Urban League of Broward County's Young Professionals Network is partnering with Social Change Miami to host an epic election party.
"The Election Night watch party allows us to bring our community together in the spirit of democracy and take a moment of pride in our neighborhoods," says Toby Young, president of the Urban League of Broward County's YPN. "Join us for light refreshments while supplies last, music, and networking." 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, November 6, at Reign Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, 9940 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines; ulbcypn.org. Admission is free.