I am a Human Being! Tips for successful petition signature gathering.

Getting your candidate on the ballot is no easy task. Here are tips for successful petition signature gathering in Missoula, Montana.

Before presidential candidates can get your vote, they have to get on the ballot in your state. Collecting signatures so a candidate can qualify to be on a ballot is one of the most important steps in any campaign.

For the presidential primary ballot in Montana, candidates need to submit a declaration and oath. They must also submit verified signatures of at least 500 registered voters. Most campaigns aim to collect thousands more signatures than necessary for bragging rights. Also, lots of signatures are invalidated for a number of reasons (the County Clerk office can’t read the handwriting, the address isn’t sufficient, the person who signed isn’t actually registered to vote).

I volunteered to gather signatures for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. The campaign set the goal of collecting 1,000 signatures in Montana. Here’s my tips and tricks for successful signature gathering efforts.

1: Find your local campaign staffer to help you get plugged in.

This is pretty easy. It’s no secret that if you indicate any kind of interest in helping a political campaign, that they’ll follow you around like a lost puppy.

For Warren’s campaign, I went to her website, made a $2 donation, and received an endless series of texts with all the different ways I could get involved. I responded “Yes” to one asking me to collect signatures for a 3 hour shift on a Sunday morning.

2: Rope in a friend.

Learn from the campaign that just recruited you. Shout from the mountain top that you’re going to be volunteering and ask everyone you know if they want to join you. Ask your friends one at a time, directly. A general “Anyone want to join me?” is going to be met with crickets. Once you ask your friend directly, look at them with expectant excitement until you get a direct ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

3: Show up!

We all sign up for things with the best of intentions. Then Sunday morning rolls around and your partner is cuddled up on the couch watching episode after episode of “Love is Blind” and you have a sense of dread about the 35-degree weather and predicted snowfall. Get over it! This is why you roped in a friend and why you planned a reward (see tip #6).

Get yourself to the quick volunteer orientation. Listen to the directions, drink some coffee, and get your clipboard.

4: Find a good place to stand.

They’ll likely have a few designated places to send you. You can stand anywhere on a public sidewalk. Note that a parking lot outside of a business (like a grocery store parking lot) is private property. You have to get permission from the manager to collect signatures in that case.

Scope out your location and find a place where you can be in people’s walking paths without blocking their access to a business. My friend and I chose a popular market that is known in town for it’s delicious breakfast burritos (see tip #6).

As we expected, there was a steady stream of people coming in and out of the market. We positioned ourselves outside, about 20 feet from the door on either side, and didn’t give people much of a chance to escape us.

5: Be ready for whatever comes your way.

I’ve gathered signatures for ballot initiatives before. I’ve registered people to vote. I’ve made get out the vote phone calls. If you’re an introvert, like me, this might not be for you. But if you’re an introvert who wants to save democracy, you figure out how to prepare yourself and take care of yourself (see tip #6).

During my signature gathering shift I use these strategies:

    • Smile and make eye contact (or try), hold your head up, and appear approachable. If there’s lots of space on the sidewalk, take one or two steps toward the approaching person (not too close!).
    • Ask directly “Are you registered to vote in Montana?”
    • Follow up with “Will you sign this petition to help get Elizabeth Warren on the primary ballot in MT?”

Be prepared for:

    • “Yes?” Seriously, so many people are happy to participate in the process and are just waiting to feel welcomed into the political process. You are there to make their dreams come true! Show your genuine excitement about their participation. One person I asked said that she’d never voted before, but she was going to this year because it felt too important. While voting might feel like a no-brainer to you (especially if you’re volunteering for a campaign at this level), remember that almost 50% of people don’e vote. Don’t shame people for not having been involved before- celebrate that they’re going to be involved this time.
    • “No. Not today.” Smile, because you’re an ambassador for your candidate. But really, if not today, when, Karen? Let them go get their burrito and ask the next person.
    • “I haven’t done my research. So I don’t feel comfortable signing.” Sometimes I can’t help but roll my eyes at this. But then I check myself and realize I live in a news saturated bubble and perhaps people do want to feel more informed- can I blame them?
    • “I’m voting for someone else.” That’s fine! I usually say- “GREAT! Don’t you want that person to win in a fair fight? Getting someone else on the ballot doesn’t obligate you to vote for them and it makes the democratic process as robust as it’s supposed to be.”
    • “PSHSHSHST.” It’s easy for people to be rude to us when we’re holding a clipboard and standing between them and their breakfast burrito. Don’t go after these people to convince them, but don’t let them get you down either! You can often hear me saying in a very calm and normal voice “I’m a HUMAN BEING,” when I get a response like this. If people are downright rude, it’s ok to remind them they can be better than that.
6: Reward yourself!

You did hard work! You saved democracy! You deserve a reward. Make sure your petitions are in a safe, dry place. And enjoy your breakfast burrito (or other treat).

Best Burritos in Missoula

There are quite a few Mexican restaurants in Missoula, but which one has the best burritos in town? I am basing the choosing of the restaurants on that they must be local restaurants, I have burritos, they are not fast-food or a national chain, and I have been there. As of early February, 2020, there are 4 restaurants in Missoula that fall into all of those categories, so in no particular order they are: El Diablo, Fiesta En Jalisco, Taco Sano, and Taco Del Sol. All of these will be referenced as to the last time I was there and what I ordered. So, let’s just go in order as how they are above.


El Diablo – Last time I was there was about a month ago and I had ordered a carne asada burrito with white rice, black beans, hot salsa, lettuce, and some other vegetables on it. I remember the burrito its self being really good with being about 10 inches in size but the only caveat I had with it was the tortilla the burrito was wrapped in. The tortilla was warm but not necessarily cooked as in it was chewy and it really took away from the rest of the burrito. Overall it was really good but when the shell it’s surrounded in is bad, it really takes away from it all, 6/10.


Fiesta En Jalisco – I went to the restaurant on reserve around December and I remember getting there thinking it would be another Montana “Mexican” restaurant but in reality, it was far better than that. I had ordered an al pastor burrito (as finding those in Missoula are a rare find) and when it arrived, I was very excited. The burrito was the size of the plate length wise and served with rice and beans on the side (which were excellent and traditional in the sense that the beans were made with lard) but the burrito its self was very tasty and reminded me of a burrito you would get from a taco truck parked outside of Dodger Stadium. Definitely one of the better spots in Missoula for sure 9/10.


Taco Sano – Taco Sano is in a cool spot being on the hip strip across the way from the Roxy movie theater. I only bring up the location for Taco Sano because it is one of the big reasons as to why I go there so often in comparison to the other restaurants however, that’s all it really has going for it. The burrito I got when I was last there was their carnitas burrito with white rice, black beans, lettuce, jalapeños, onion, cheese, with sour cream, and their hot sauce ‘Glacial Melt’. They also serve tater tots which is cool and odd for a Mexican restaurant, but non-the-less the burrito while the first few bites were filled with wonderful carnitas, lettuce and beans the rest of the burrito was painful. The rice was cooked well but must have been older and left out (as in not heated properly) because when I made my way deeper into the burrito every bite made me scared as to whether or not I’d crack a tooth on the rice or not. So, for this reason they get a 4/10, because it was still a solid burrito.


Taco Del Sol – Taco Del Sol is another local spot that evoked another memory of being back home one that reminded me of being on the beach in San Diego. I walked into the store and there were surf boards hanging all over the ceiling and walls, the atmosphere in there was that of a bonfire in Moonlight bay, a fun environment with a chill vibe. This time however, instead of getting a custom burrito I got their shrimp burrito which had: shrimp, black beans, salsa, shredded cabbage, white sauce, their hottest salsa and jalapenos. I got it looking forward to a shrimp burrito because they’re like lizards, often found in the warmer regions and harder to find the more north you go. This shrimp burrito was by the far best I had with no complaints other than it being a longer drive across town than it should be, 8.5/10

In conclusion, my rankings for best burrito in Missoula goes as follows:

4. Taco Sano, 3. El Diablo, 2. Taco Del Sol, 1. Fiesta En Jalisco.


Now this is just my opinion and if you want to see which one truly is better, well there’s no better way than to try them out for yourself.

Must Do’s in Missoula

Float into downtown Missoula:Picture

Put in at Sha-ron Put-in, get out at Brennan’s Wave to be right in the middle of downtown.


Grab an Icecream from the Big Dipper: 



Visit our local Mountains:

Hike the “M” during the summer and ski Snowbowl in the winter.

The M


3 Shows on Netflix That You Have to Watch

1.   The Office

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With 9 Seasons of awkward, stress inducing comedy, the office comes in at number 1 on my list. This extremely quotable and relatable series on Netflix has been my go-to show for as long as I can remember. Even though I have gone through the entire series about 100 times, I still find myself looking forward to sitting down and binging 5-10 episodes after classes.

From the rivalry between Dunder Mifflin’s top salesmen, Dwight and Jim, to the extremely inappropriate yet effective antics of the “World’s Best Boss” Michael Scott, the office is a timeless classic that many will miss when it leaves Netflix at the end of this year. However, NBC will be picking up this incredible series on its own streaming service at the beginning of 2021 so there is no need to worry.

For those who have never heard of the office, it can be tough to get into. When I introduced the office to one of my friends, they didn’t understand why Michael Scott was so awkward and intrusive and why Dwight took his job as a paper salesman so seriously. However, after a couple episodes, they finally realized that LITERALLY the entire show is one continuous joke and since then, have gone through the series at least 5 times. If you’re ever looking for a new show to run through, need a good laugh, or want to get a little emotional and shed some tears, the office is the show for you.

2.   Breaking Bad

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Breaking Bad follows Walter White, a 50-year-old high school chemistry teacher who was recently diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. Missing out on making a fortune from the company he helped create, Gray Matter, Walt resorts to drastic measures in order to pay for his chemo treatments and to help set up his family for the future. Accompanied by his former student, Jesse Pinkman, Walt begins manufacturing methamphetamine in an RV in the middle of a desert in New Mexico.

At the beginning, Walt is a mild-mannered family man with only one goal, bring in as much money as possible to help his family before he goes. While providing for his young family remains his main goal throughout the entire series, Walt slowly becomes less of a mild-mannered family man and transforms into a drug kingpin known as Heisenberg. Having won countless awards for his performance as Walter White and being called one of the most iconic TV characters of all time, Bryan Cranston is by far the star of the show. He will not only play with your head, but your heart as well, whether that be due to his problems with his family down the line or from the times Heisenberg goes out of his way to protect the ones he cares about.

Personally, I could go on and on about this incredible show, but then there would be no need for you to watch it! So, I will leave you with this. With 5 seasons of drama, and meth, infused action, Breaking Bad is one of the greatest shows of all time which is a title it will hold for a very long time. From the slow but steady transition of Walt to Heisenberg to the quotable yet heart throbbing actions of Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad is a must watch.

3.   Formula 1: Drive to Survive


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My final pick for shows on Netflix that you have to watch is Formula 1: Drive to Survive. While there are plenty of other shows that could fill this spot, I believe that this docuseries doesn’t get the credit it deserves. My first two picks were well-known shows that have received endless amounts of praise, but this docuseries on the Formula 1 2018 World Championship needs more attention. Documentaries are already a niche section of Netflix and attaching a sport that not a lot of people know about makes it that much harder to get people interested, so here’s my pitch.

Formula 1 is the peak of motorsport. The cars, drivers, teams, equipment, and sponsors are all the best in the world, and not to hate on NASCAR, but Formula 1 is worlds beyond what any NASCAR team could dream of. In total, there are 10 teams in Formula 1 with two cars and drivers to accompany them. These teams will only spend months developing their cars before competing in 22 Grand Prix races all over the world. The thing that I love the most about Formula 1 is how the race weekend is structured. On Thursday and Friday, the teams break out their cars, set up their paddocks, and begin practicing on the track to test their car and engine setups. Saturday is for Qualifying, which means drivers are pushing their cars to the limit in order to extract milliseconds out of their lap times so they can get as close to the front row as possible. Finally, the day everyone has been waiting for, Sunday; Race day. After the race, teams break down all their equipment and ship off to the next country for the next race.

The Formula 1: Drive to Survive docuseries goes behind the scenes so we can see what it takes to bring this spectacle of motorsport to life. While the first season only features 8 of the teams, excluding Ferrari and Mercedes, Season 2, which is set to come out on February 28th, 2020, will include all 10 teams. If you want to learn about what it takes to set up a Formula 1 team, what goes through the driver’s head before, during, and after races, and what Formula 1 is as a whole, then Formula 1: Drive to Survive is the docuseries for you.


– Eric Mott

The 3 best menu items in Missoula: A guide.

If you don’t like sushi… then you’ve come to the wrong blog.

Coming in at #1…… We have THE AVOCADO BOMB from Kobe Seafood & Steakhouse.

The Sushi House – Wanderlust in the City

The avocado bomb is a true masterpiece. Avocado STUFFED with spicy tuna, mixed crab, fried topped w/ eel sauce, sweet chili, spring mix salad. Definitely not true Japanese cuisine but whats not to love here? The Tuna, the crab, and the avocado all combine together perfectly in the fryer. For only $9.00, it is worth the price and a secret to many Missoulians. A must have.

Coming in at #2 on our list we have….. THE MASSIVE ATTACK roll from Saketome in the heart of Missoula.

Sushi Ninjas - San Diego California - Food Smackdown