Celebrities: Sometimes they are just like us.
The latest example was on Tuesday, when athletes, actors, musicians and those famous for being famous joined ordinary Americans to vote on Election Day. They waited in long lines, filled out ballots and shared “I Voted” photos — just like the rest of us.
In past years, midterm elections have typically drawn far less interest among all voters, including celebrities, and turnout at the polls has dipped in off-years between presidential elections.
Election Day is a few hours away!! I want you to post a picture of yourself after you’ve voted, tagging me and using #VoteWithUs. I’ll be reposting as many of you as I can in my IG story until the polls close! WE got this!!! 💥💥💥💜💜💜 #Vote pic.twitter.com/mXGiJkrLYX
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) November 6, 2018
But this year is different. An energized and polarized electorate is fired up — and celebrities are playing a big part, both at campaign rallies and on social media, to get people engaged. More than 31.5 million people were estimated to have voted early across the United States, with 22 states and the District of Columbia surpassing total turnout in the last midterm four years ago.
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A slew of celebrities voted early. Axl Rose, the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, tweeted a photo of his mail-in ballot and said “Vote Blue” — and then got an earful from fans who disagreed with his politics. Another outspoken music star, Taylor Swift, voted early after spending the past few weeks urging her fans to register to vote. (The website Vote.org said her campaign led to an increase in registrations on its site.)
Ms. Swift, who had stayed silent for years about her political beliefs, said last month that she supported Democratic candidates in Tennessee, which she calls home. On Oct. 30, she announced on Instagram that she and her mother, Andrea Swift, had voted early in Tennessee for Phil Bredesen, the state’s former Democratic governor now running for Senate.
In an Instagram story on Tuesday, Ms. Swift, who had a concert in Australia on Election Day, told her fans that they would feel better about themselves if they voted. “It’s not enough to just want change,” Ms. Swift said. “You have to go and make change by voting. Today is your opportunity to do that.”
Other big names who voted early were the actress Kerry Washington, who is currently in New York for her role in the new Broadway play “American Son,” and the country music stars Faith Hill and her husband, Tim McGraw, who live in Nashville.
Leading up to Election Day, candidates across the country, from races for governor to those in the Senate, have attracted superstars to join them on the campaign trail.
Last week, Oprah Winfrey knocked on doors in Georgia with Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and now lawyer for President Trump, stopped in Indiana to campaign for Mike Braun, a Republican. Representative Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Texas, has campaigned with Willie Nelson and even jammed onstage with him.