Everyone from Lizzo to Lady Gaga are encouraging people to use their right to vote. Celebrities are finding creative ways to push people to the polls this election.
Over the years, there has been a decrease in voting turn out, especially among young people. “In 2016, 61.4 percent of the citizen voting-age population reported voting, a number not statistically different from the 61.8 percent who reported voting in 2012,” said Census.gov.
People usually dislike going to vote because of the “inconvenience.”
“Lines are often too long, poll workers are often confused, administration of polling sites are often challenging,” said PBS.org.
However, with early voting boasting shorter lines, a wider variety of dates and times, and more flexibility, it seems to be the solution to the inconvenience of voting. Celebrities have also hopped on the early voting train, as an option for people who often use excuses to avoid voting.
Celebrities are using their platforms to persuade their audience that voting is a right and a privilege. Hopefully, the future of America will see the increase in voting especially with the younger generation’s attachment to social media.
“‘It absolutely matters. It is great to see them using their platforms to encourage people to get registered to vote, to participate,’ tells Benjamin Hovland, U.S. Election Assistance Commission chairman, adding that it especially matters this year due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said USA Today.
Celebrities’ social media popularity help increase voter turnouts. For example, on September 28th, Kylie Jenner posted two pictures on Instagram, which have gained over 10 million likes, to spread the message about voting. “But are you registered to vote? Click the link in my bio… let’s make a plan to vote together,” said Jenner in her Instagram caption. Jenner’s post made a valuable contribution to voting registration and helped reach the young voters that dominate her fan-base.
“On the day Jenner shared her photo, Vote.org got 48,000 users from Instagram to utilize their voter registration tool, whereas the day prior the site only saw 2,900 users, a more than 1500% increase in use via Instagram according to Jordan Wilhelmi, a spokesperson for Vote.org,” said USA Today.
Celebrities are often viewed as superior because their massive amounts of wealth and fame paint them as god-like figures, but by casting their vote, they humanize themselves, showing we all have the same rights as American citizens. If celebrities are exercising their right by voting, it may inspire others to do so too.
One of the bold ways celebrities are using their platforms is through the power of fashion. At the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, Lizzo, nominated for eleven awards, wore a Christian Siriano dress that had “Vote” written all over it.
“There’s power in your voice, so whether it’s through music, protest or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice and refuse to be suppressed,” Lizzo said in her acceptance speech at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.
Like Lizzo, Julia Roberts posted a picture on Instagram dressed in a Christian Siriano jumpsuit with “Vote” all over it.
Celebrities are even going as far as to trick people into registering to vote. Kerry Washington, star of the TV show, Scandal, posted a tweet with a clip from Scandal and a caption that read, “Scandal the Movie. Click link for more info…” Instead of more information or a trailer like fans were expecting, the link went to a register to vote page.
In addition, on October 15th, Lady Gaga shared a video of her singing her new “single” on Twitter, but the lyrics are not what her audience had in mind.
“Do you know how to vote? I know a place you can go. It’s called TurboVote.org. Have your state or driver’s license, they’ll need your name and birthday and so you all avoid a mess have the last four digits of your social security number,” sang Lady Gaga at her piano.
In a year of despair and tragedy, celebrities using their platforms to empower citizens’ rights is a positive change. Celebrities are inspiring others to stress the importance of voting. Everyone’s vote counts and one’s contribution will make all the difference.