Your Election Night Survival Kit

By Shelby Rowe Moyer

Election night is upon us, and we’re both anxious for it to come and ready for it to be over.

In order to make the night a little more enjoyable — either as you flip between news stations to watch the results or ignore it for as long as humanly possible — we’ve come up with a survival kit. All the items below were curated to bring a little comfort.

“Madison Votes” — An Informative Podcast

The ins and outs of voting is surprisingly murky, especially when it comes to nitty-gritty questions like, “Does my driver’s license need to have my current address in order for me to vote?” (The answer: No.)

The Madison City Clerk’s Office kindly created the “Madison Votes” podcast series for this very reason, discussing topics like absentee voting, voter ID, voting myths, election security and more. We recommend giving these a listen sooner than later, as it will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the process and hopefully answer some looming questions

Find the podcast through your podcast app of choice (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, etc).

Red, White or Clear?

Surely you plan to pick up a bottle of something. If you’re partial to red wine, try Northern Fire Red, a semi-dry, gold medal winner from Forgotten Fire Winery in Marinette. It has aromas of black fruits and vanilla bean.

Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac makes perennial favorite Prairie Fumé, a semi-dry white wine that has garnered many awards this year, including Double Gold from the 2020 Tasters Guild International Wine Competition. It’s crisp, refreshing and slightly sweet with notes of citrus and mango.

Lavender Liqueur: we should have known this is a thing, but we definitely did not know this was a thing. And what could be more perfect for a stressful evening, with lavender’s relaxing qualities? Yahara Bay Distillery makes a ton of delicious and interesting liquors, so check them out if you haven’t already. Pour a shot or two of its Lavender Liqueur into a glass of lemonade, orange juice or an iced hot chocolate.

Cozy Up

What’s a cold night without the comfort of an ultra-soft blanket? The University Book Store has all the snuggly items. We love this Jardine Collection Bucky Badger Knit Blanket ($59.99) or the Northwest Wisconsin Super Plush Blanket ($29.99).

While you’re at it, get a sweatshirt — like the ’47 Brand Vault Wisconsin Hooded Sweatshirt ($59.99) — because nothing feels better than a brand-new hoodie.

Get in the Voting Spirit

After all, it is the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The Wisconsin Historical Society has you covered, like this “I Will Vote” cotton T-shirt ($24.95) or the Votes for Women coasters ($24.95) — which you’re going to need for those drinks!

A Little Fun and Games

A distraction will be nice to cut down on the stress of the election, so why not test your worldly knowledge? “I Should Have Known That” ($20) will have you smacking your forehead with questions like, “How long was Sleeping Beauty asleep?” or “How do you say Japan in Japanese?” This game is best for people 14 years and up, and with 400 cards in the pack, it’ll keep you busy for a while.

Looking for a different kind of family fun? Conspiracy theories are at an all-time high now that it’s easier than ever to spread information. Think you know a lot about aliens or government schemes? Well, batter up! The Conspiracy Theory Trivia Board Game ($34.75) is for you. It comes with 250 conspiracy cards and 25 cover-up cards (with expansion pack options). This game is ideal for two to six people and is best for ages 14 and up.


A night in isn’t complete without snacks. Swing by Alimentari for a tasty selection of fresh pasta, charcuterie and sandwiches. The gourmet market has plenty of meats and cheeses to pick from, and they can even make platters for you.

For a sweet fix, Insomnia Cookies is a staple for all the college kids (since they usually deliver until 3 a.m.). Pick up a batch at their downtown Madison storefront — or you can have them delivered until 1 a.m., if you live near the UW-Madison campus. Their deluxe flavors include salted caramel and confetti — but we like an old-school chocolate chip.

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