In past election cycles, it’s been a struggle to turn out millennial voters.
With only 12% of young people having voted in the last midterm election, a new initiative has formed to get the below-40 demographic to the polls. “Glam Up The Midterms” is a newly developed project from the minds of satire website Funny or Die and comedian Billy Eichner, aimed at improving voter turnout in the 2018 primary and midterms elections.
This year’s elections are slated to be some of the most contentious in history. Voters across the country will decide which party controls the House of Representatives, Senate, and 36 governor’s seats, where record numbers of challengers are poised to contest formerly unchallenged positions.
Eichner recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to discuss the initiative’s launch. “Glam Up The Midterms,” he says, will try to register voters and educate them about the midterm elections process in districts across the country. The goal is to show the importance of voting—especially in midterm cycles—to young people while also making the experience fun and engaging. Eichner says he hopes to “turn the midterms into the hottest, sexiest event of the year” by sharing the ways in which young people have the opportunity to be the most influential demographic to cast their votes. “It’s not like the presidential election where we’re all focused on the same race. There are different races everywhere. It’s complicated, there’s a lot of information to process, and we’re going to go try to make it fun.”
Although he and Funny or Die recruited some famous pals like Sarah Silverman, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Chelsea Handler, and Andy Cohen to join in on the project’s launch video, Eichner says the real emphasis will be placed on the local level and not on the merits of celebrity influence. During an interview with Pod Save America, he admits that the Hollywood “bump” isn’t always helpful.
“We’re not going to go to Pennsylvania and randomly drag the cast of Grey’s Anatomy there,” he jokes. “I know that people don’t want random Hollywood folks showing up and telling them to vote. There’s nothing more irritating than that. We’re actually going to be in these districts pinpointing local heroes—whether it’s high school athletes, kids who have a big platform on their college campus, the local bartender who people just love. We want to engage the hometown heroes and empower them to use their voice.”
Learn more about the effort to Glam Up The Midterms by watching the video below: