We have a number of people who will be doing penny polls in their local community or one nearby, but we hope to get a few more who can help out on election day. Please contact me ASAP (since I will be away for most of Nov. 4-7). I will be able to respond to questions or clarifications on Nov. 7 and early on Nov. 8 and can send you categories on Nov. 7 or early on the 8th if you need them.
Can you help to do a Penny Poll at Election Polls on November 8th?
Join the Penny Poll Project (P3)
What’s a Penny Poll? It’s a survey to us how people in Maine, and in this country, want our federal income tax money to be spent compared to how it is actually allocated by our federal government. We give the “person on the street” pennies and ask them to “spend” them on the programs they want. Altho about 50% (or more) of our tax dollars go to the Pentagon and military-related expenses, most people want to “bring our war dollars home.”
Polls done in Maine during the late spring and summer of over 1,500 people demonstrated that most people do want their tax money to go for human needs.
Help us demonstrate what the people of Maine REALLY want by conducting a Penny Poll locally on November 8th, Election Day. It’s fun and empowering too for you and those taking part! Can you do a poll in your community or one nearby? If so or to get more information, contact:
The process is simple:
(1) Contact the town/city clerk in the place where you want to do a Penny Poll. This can be in your town/city or one nearby. Arrange with the clerk for a space in which to do the poll of those who have completed voting and want to participate.
(2) Bring a table or ironing board (42 inches long or longer is best if containers are larger) and chair; the clerk may be able to provide a table and chair instead, so you won’t have to bring one. Bring ten jars (quart or pint mayonnaise or canning jars work well) or soda bottles with the top part cut off or another kind of containers in which to put pennies. Bring $5 in pennies if you hope to have 50 people do the poll, $10 in pennies for 100, or whatever number of people you hope to survey. (At least 50 would be great.) Some people use dry beans instead of pennies—a pound of beans should be enough. Bring copies of the ten largest categories of the discretionary federal budget (Larry can provide those—contact him for a copy) to tape (yes, bring a little) on each jar and a second copy to tape in front of the jars or containers. Some people also bring a sign that says something like: “How would you like your federal tax dollars spent?” to display with the table.
(3) Bring these items to the poll, set up your table and jars, and ask people if they would like to participate in the poll. Have ten pennies ready in several piles or very small cups. Ask them, as they leave the voting area, if they would like to say how they would like their federal income tax dollars spent. Or try some other catchy line to interest them in being part of the poll. People might put one penny in each jar or all their pennies in one jar, but almost everyone who participates will be selective and put most of their pennies in a few jars of what they feel are the most important programs.
(4) Conduct the poll for as long as you can stay or until you run out of pennies.
(5) Compile the results; that just means counting the number of pennies in each of the ten jars. Then call or email the categories and corresponding number of pennies in to Larry Dansinger (above) on Tuesday or mid-day on Wednesday at the latest, so they can be reported statewide and to the media by November 10.
If you want a more complete description of what Penny Polls are and how to do one, contact Larry Dansinger (above) or go to www.bringourwardollarshome.org/pennypolls.html. IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO DO A POLL, PLEASE LET LARRY KNOW SO THERE WON’T BE DUPLICATE POLLS AND SO HE WILL EXPECT A REPORT OF RESULTS ON NOVEMBER 8-9.