I WANT YOU TO GLAM UP THE MIDTERMS

In an elec­tion year, vot­ing is more than just your civic duty. It’s a chic way to make your voice heard

InStyle (USA) - - Directory - by BILLY EICH­NER —AS TOLD TOROMY OLTUSKI

Vot­ing is the hottest trend of the sea­son ac­cord­ing to co­me­dian Billy Eich­ner

Have you heard about the most glam­orous event of 2018? It’s big­ger than the Os­cars, or the Su­per Bowl, or all the other things I usu­ally talk and think and tweet about. It’s the midterm elec­tions on Novem­ber 6, and it’s the selfie opp of the year.

At the last midterm elec­tions, in 2014, roughly 12 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als showed up to vote. That’s a stag­ger­ingly low fig­ure. But it prompted me to have an hon­est con­ver­sa­tion with my­self: I’ve skipped elec­tions in the past, and so have many of my friends. Why? Elec­tion Day comes along, and for one rea­son or an­other, vot­ing isn’t a pri­or­ity. Plus, you can’t ig­nore the fact that the midterms aren’t … sexy. They sound and feel like home­work.

That’s why my friends at Funny or Die and I cre­ated Glam Up the Midterms, a cam­paign to make sure that peo­ple, es­pe­cially young peo­ple, have the in­for­ma­tion they need in or­der to vote—and then ac­tu­ally vote. We’re on the road vis­it­ing bat­tle­ground states and en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to reg­is­ter to vote be­cause pas­sion is great, march­ing is great, protests are great. It all has mean­ing. But noth­ing is as mean­ing­ful as ac­tu­ally, well, vot­ing.

Af­ter the Cal­i­for­nia pri­maries, I asked my Twit­ter fol­low­ers, “If you didn’t vote yes­ter­day, why not? What can we do to make this eas­ier?” A lot of the re­sponses were as sim­ple as, “I didn’t know where to go.”

So let’s clear some things up: First of all, it’s re­ally easy to fig­ure out your polling place. On Head­count.org and Vote411.org, you lit­er­ally type in your ad­dress and they tell you where to go. Most times I’ve voted, I’ve waltzed right in, and it took less than 20 min­utes. But if you’re con­cerned about not be­ing able to vote on Elec­tion Day it­self, re­mem­ber that many states have early vot­ing, where you can go in the weeks lead­ing up to Novem­ber 6 and your vote will count just the same.

An­other thing: You don’t have to vote in ev­ery race on the bal­lot. If there’s a big race in which you feel you know the main can­di­dates but don’t feel com­fort­able vot­ing in a smaller race you know less about, you can leave blanks. I’m not say­ing that’s ideal, but it’s bet­ter than not vot­ing at all. Ev­ery vote re­ally does count, and that’s es­pe­cially true this year, when many of the races may be ex­tremely close.

So how do you turn up the glam? Ev­ery­one knows the hottest ac­ces­sory of the mo­ment is the “I voted” sticker. It’s a very sim­ple way to make your­self look like you did the right thing, and ev­ery­one’s go­ing to think you’re so po­lit­i­cally en­gaged.

Vot­ing usu­ally hap­pens at one of the less glam­orous lo­ca­tions in your town—like a school gym or com­mu­nity cen­ter—but that’s no rea­son not to turn it into what could be a ma­jor so­cial-me­dia mo­ment. Pri­or­i­ties, peo­ple. If you’re not go­ing to do it for democ­racy, then at least do it for In­sta­gram!

My tac­tic: Imag­ine what Mariah Carey would wear to go vot­ing. Then wear that. My dream would be to watch Mariah roll up to her polling place in a long, low-cut se­quined evening gown, tee­ter­ing on high heels (al­though some­thing tells me she’s more an ab­sen­tee-bal­lot kind of gal).

The best way to glam up elec­tions is to make vot­ing a group ac­tiv­ity. Text a friend right now and make a plan to go stand in line to­gether, vote, and then toast your­selves with a nice lunch and cock­tails and talk shit about your other friends. It could also be a fun first date—or re­ally more of a sec­ond date. Re­gard­less of your po­lit­i­cal party, you can im­me­di­ately go have sex af­ter vot­ing. That’s an op­tion. I know it’s on a Tues­day, so peo­ple have to work and stuff, but you’ve got a lunch hour, and you can cram a lot into an hour.

The point is that glam­our needs to be re­de­fined, and part of be­ing an ex­cit­ing, rel­e­vant per­son is to en­gage with what’s hap­pen­ing in the world right now. It’s a di­vi­sive, chaotic po­lit­i­cal mo­ment, but there are also more women, peo­ple of color, and young peo­ple run­ning for all lev­els of of­fice than ever be­fore. There are can­di­dates out there who want to fight for you. Use your voice when it re­ally counts, and that’s on Elec­tion Day.

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