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Election Day Eats: Introducing 'Voting Day' Apple Pie Bake-Offs

Ask your friends to name their favorite aspect of any holiday and talk will turn to food pretty quickly. So if Election Day were a national holiday, what food would we eat?

Nothing is as American as, well, apple pie, so I propose we mark Election Day by celebrating this quintessential American dish, broadly conceived, in voter-based baking competitions across the country. Think of it as voting with your ballot and palate.

Picture this. Communities of any size can host an apple pie bake-off, and baking and/or pie sampling can occur at polling locations, schools, community centers, or parks. A nominal fee to sample pies and cast votes would cover baking costs and raise funds for each community’s food bank. The prospect of multiple pie sampling would not only provide a sugar high to both winners and losers but also increase voter turnout and celebrate the day’s themes.

Here are a few baking and competition ground rules. Community-nominated judges should ensure that each competitor obliges, and that voting is democratic:

  • This election is open to amateur cooks of any age—no birth certificate or other government-issued ID is necessary to compete or vote.
  • Communities hosting an Election Day Apple Pie Bake-Off need to call a town hall meeting to determine location and voting time of the bake-off, to be announced publicly in advance.
  • In order to submit a pie, it must include at least one apple, a pastry crust, and a filling (savory or sweet), and each competitor must make all pie elements his or herself. No outsourcing allowed.
  • Depending on the size of the community, categories besides “best pie” (e.g., most original, flakiest crust, etc.) may be decided ahead of time. The establishment of a separate category for donkey and elephant shaped pies is highly encouraged.
  • The winner of the “best pie” will be granted with the title of President of the community’s official Apple Pie Administration for four years.
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If your community can’t host an Election Day Apple Pie Bake-Off this year, try a mini version of a voting-based apple pie bake-off with your family and friends at home as you await the results on November 6. Just be sure to share a slice with your neighbor, whatever their chosen flavor.

Holidays need traditions. This post is part of a series imagining rituals we could create around "Voting Day" as a national holiday. Sign up your organization or encourage your company to join at

Illustration by Jessica De Jesus

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