Among many other things, 2020 has proved to be an absolutely relentless year for unhinged, unasked-for celebrity PSAs. There was the musical reminder that #WeAreOne in coronavirus lockdown, courtesy of Gal Gadot and assorted other famous people in luxury quarantine. There was the “I Take Responsibility” video, in which a handful of white celebrities gestured at systemic racism. And now there’s this voting awareness bit, I’m not really sure what else to call it — just a bunch of naked celebs, baring it all for the ballots.
Now, nude Mark Ruffalo knows what you’re thinking, and says so a little over a minute into the video: “put your clothes on,” my dudes! But then an opportunity to make a naked joke would be missed. The celebs aren’t talking about regular ballots; they’re talking about naked ballots, or, ballots mailed back to election officials without their protective sleeve in place. A total of 16 states provide voters with a “secrecy” envelope, in which the ballot should be sealed before it goes into its return envelope. Rules on privacy sleeves vary state to state, county to county, but given that a Pennsylvania court recently ruled that naked ballots would not be counted, you can see why the celebs want you to be vigilant.
The general message of this PSA is not wrong. Read the instructions on your ballot with meticulous care and follow them exactly; use both envelopes if you receive two; and return your ballot as soon as possible? It all scans! But this habit of repackaging of serious issues as content can feel hollow, even unhelpful. So maybe someone could just gently suggest that there are other, arguably more useful ways to do one’s civid duty? Diplo’s butt has the get-out-the-vote effort cornered, anyway.