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November 6 2018

We Don’t Need a Naked Chelsea Handler to Get Us to Vote

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

It’s Election Day!

Amid the sea of Instagram photos and tweets from of family, friends and co-workers proudly bearing their “I Voted” stickers, you may catch a glimpse of something you’d rather not see.

Comedian Chelsea Handler has taken to social media to turn out votes using her body. She posted an Instagram story in just her underwear using her arms to cover her exposed chest and asking followers to “vote like your life depends on it.”

This may just be the most ridiculous voter turnout tactic this midterm season, but I’m not sure just what it actually accomplishes.

Objectification is not a strong motivator, especially for women. Americans should not need a semi-nude woman to get excited about going to the polls to exercise their most basic and important right.

The issues of this cycle have already prompted high early voting turnout.

More than 30 million Americans have already voted early and more than two dozen states have surpassed their total early vote tally from the 2014 midterm election. (However, this trails early voting in the 2016 presidential election when 46 million early votes were reportedly counted.)

If early voting is a predictor of what happens today, it’s possible that we’ll see the highest voter turnout for a midterm election in decades.

Even with high voter enthusiasm this year, voter turnout is woeful. According to the Census Bureau, 157.6 million Americans 18 and older reported being registered to vote in November 2016, but just 56 percent cast their vote and that was during a presidential election.

Voter apathy (especially in midterm elections) is difficult to overcome. Although Americans overwhelmingly recognize the importance of voting, millions of people won’t do it.

According to new Pew Research polling, sizable majorities of voters complain that voting is not convenient (73 percent), straightforward (70 percent), or exciting (62 percent). Digging deeper, about a quarter of those who say voting is difficult cite the political environment and specifically point to candidate choices and the divisiveness of the political environment.

Rejecting the divisive political rhetoric that inflames anger and incites incivility is a starting point if we want to address our political environment. That begins with our national leaders not imploring people to harass members of the administration, but also includes celebrities like Handler being responsible about their over-the-top comments and antics.

We may never be able to overcome all of the hurdles that keep people from voting (like laziness and apathy), but civility goes farther to improving the political environment than naked videos.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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