The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the nation's largest Muslim civil rights organization. CAIR's mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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Muslims Vote: A Live Televised Elections Debate

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Did you know that there are important local elections on your election ballot? Political offices that affect your family like the education of your children, funding of public universities are on the ballot this election! Many candidates win elections with as few as 50 votes. Your vote really does count and your presence in the live audience will enable millions of fellow Americans learn about American Muslims’ lives, contributions, voting power and alliances!

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Will there be food?
Answer: Yes! We will be serving complimentary dinner from 5:00PM until about 5:45PM for those who arrive early.

Question: I won’t be 18 or older by Nov. 8, 2016 so I can’t register to vote in this election. Can I still attend the debate?
Answer:  Simply apply and note this in the section that’s for those under 18.  We have a limited number of seats reserved for those who apply to attend but can’t register to vote for this year’s election because of age.

Question: Can I bring my family?
Answer: Yes. Please be sure to apply by the Oct. 17, 2016 deadline to attend together. There is a section in the application form for you to include each of your family member’s contact information in your application. Seats are pre-assigned, so all members of your family that are attending must be pre-registered.

Question: What happens if I arrive late?
Answer:  We will try to keep the doors open as long as we can, but we cannot have people walking into the room on live TV, so once the cameras start rolling, we will be locking the doors and nobody else will be allowed in. Please plan to arrive on time at 5:30pm, if possible earlier, as we will be serving complimentary dinner starting at 5pm.

Question:  What channels will this event be on?
Answer:  The event will be streamed on web sites of various TV stations across our state, and will be broadcast live on air on other TV and radio stations. We will confirm the specific stations closer to the event date.

Question: Are there any other ways to watch the event besides the television broadcast?
Answer:  Yes! We will have the event livestreamed online at the same time as the television broadcast. We will confirm the specific web sites closer to the event date.

Question: What happens if my ballot doesn’t arrive in the mail?
Answer:  As long as you are registered to vote, you can print your ballot online on the vote.wa.gov website. Just make sure to print it out and bring it with you to the event.

Question: What if I don’t apply online by Oct. 17? Can I just walk-in? What are the restrictions on walk-ins?
Answer:  If the event is not sold out in advance, we might allow a limited number of people to walk in and buy tickets at the door.  However walk-ins will have to follow all of the rules that pre-accepted applicants must (e.g. must arrive on time, must have a ballot in hand, etc). In addition, walk-ins will be charged a $30 entry fee per person that is not required of those who applied online. We cannot guarantee that all walk-ins will be able to attend the event as the event may be full in advance.

Question: I am turning 18 soon, will I be able to register to vote?
Answer:  If you are turning 18 before November 8th, register now at http://vote.wa.gov by Oct. 10, 2016 to be able to vote in the upcoming election. Deadline for voter registration is October 10, 2016, so register NOW.

Question: How do I register to vote?
Answer: Voter registration can be done online at http://vote.wa.gov until October 10, 2016.

Question: I’ve never heard of the WA Secretary of State or the OSPI before, what do they do?
Answer: The WA Secretary of State is mostly in charge of managing the elections within the state by being in charge of voter registration, election advertising, and more. You can learn more about the role of the Secretary of State here. The OSPI is in charge of supervising the public school districts across the state to make sure that students succeed in their K-12 education. You can learn more about the role of the OSPI here.

Question:  How will seating be arranged? 
Answer: Seating will be pre-assigned to all accepted applicants after applications close. We will have front row seating for special invitees and those with accepted questions for the candidates, and we will make sure that families are seated together. Our overall seating arrangement will be similar to the layout of the candidate forum here, with chairs in a circle and the candidates and moderators in the middle.

Question: What is the dress code for this event?
Answer:  We request that attendees to this event dress in formal attire, preferably come in suit and tie or their equivalent.  We request that special groups such as military veterans, nurses, doctors or fire fighters wear attire visually representing their occupation, it would be an important visual for TV audiences to recognize American Muslims in these fields.

Question: Why do we need to bring our ballots?
Answer: This will show candidates that they're competing for votes by people who are ready to vote with ballots and pens in their hands, and really make it an exciting event for TV audiences to watch.  Your family’s elections ballots will be mailed to you on/around October 21, 2016. Be sure to check your mail around that time. If you have not registered to vote or updated your registration since you changed addresses, you can do so at http://vote.wa.gov where you can also check each of your voter registration statuses.

Question: Why should we care about the OSPI and WA Secretary of State races?
Answer:  The decisions and actions taken by the OSPI and the Secretary of State impact your life in many ways. The Washington State Secretary of State is in charge of managing elections and voting rights in our state, and the Washington State OSPI (Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction) oversees your children’s public schools.

Question: Is my vote significant?
Answer: Yes it is! Not only does your vote affect the current election, but you voting as a member of the Muslim community results in increased political involvement of Muslims so that we and our kids live in a society that gives us equal respect which we deserve. This will make candidates pay more attention to Muslim communities and their concerns. So candidates see Muslims as a community whose votes they must work to earn, whom they must respect and whose interests they must keep in mind.

Question: I have a question that is not listed on here. Who should I contact?
Answer: Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call CAIR-WA’s office at 206-367-4081

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

Online registration is now closed

DATE

Monday, October 24, 2016

TIME

5:30PM – 8:15PM (Buffet dinner starting at 5PM for early arrivals)

LOCATION

Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS). 17550 NE 67th Ct, Redmond, WA 98052

TICKETS

Online registration is now closed