How Celebs Are Getting Out the Vote for the 2018 Midterm Elections
On November 6, Americans will head to the polls for the 2018 midterm elections. Up for grabs are all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the US Senate.
Midterms generally receive less attention than the every-four-years presidential elections, but this year's races are some of the biggest and most important of our lifetime. The stakes have never been higher.
With that in mind, organizations and people on both sides of the aisle are urging people to cast their ballots on Election Day, and celebs including America Ferrera, John Legend, and even Oprah Winfrey have been headlining rallies and knocking on doors to make sure people are registered and ready.
Click through to see how some of Hollywood's biggest stars are getting out the vote for the 2018 midterms. (Photos via Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for dcp + Jessica McGowan/Getty Images + Kevin Winter/Getty Images for dcp + Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
America Ferrera: The actress and activist has been extremely vocal about the importance of this year's midterms, both on social media and in real life. In the weeks leading up to the election, she joined Somos Más in Las Vegas, Dallas, and Phoenix to speak to prospective voters. She also participated in multiple "girls' trips" with the likes of Natalie Portman, Alicia Keys, and Liza Koshy, all with the aim of getting out the vote and getting people fired up on the campaign trail. And on Sunday, November 4, she traveled down to Florida with Gina Rodriguez, Eva Longoria, Zoe Saldana, and Rosario Dawson to rally Latinx voters. (Photo via Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ava DuVernay: The Selma director repeatedly tweeted calls to action in the weeks before the midterm elections, perhaps most notably in the aftermath of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. On October 2, she retweeted a video of President Trump mocking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, and shared her thoughts with fans, writing, "We can get mad at this. Tweet up a storm. Call him names. All those things. Or — we can do the only thing that really matters. Vote. Them. Out. November 6. Midterms. Diminish his power. Batter his ego. Raise your voice. Show them all who's boss. Justice and dignity will prevail." (Photo via Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)
Billy Eichner: The comedian teamed up with Funny Or Die to "Glam Up the Midterms" — or, as he told Jimmy Kimmel, "turn the midterms into the hottest, sexiest event of the entire year." He also canvassed with Swing Left and made an impassioned, unscripted plea to voters at the 2018 American Music Awards. "Young people of America, the biggest election of our lifetime is happening. That's right. Tonight is the final night to register in 20 states in this country," he said when he took the stage with Kathryn Hahn to present the AMA for Adult Contemporary Artist. "Please grab your friends. Tell them to vote. If you believe in equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community, if you believe that climate change is real and that we need to do something about it, don't let anyone tell you your vote won't count." (Photo via Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ellen DeGeneres: The talk-show host sent Kalen Allen back to college — specifically, Temple University — to talk to millennials about voting for a special EllenTube segment on the midterms. She also tweeted Vote.org's voting checklist, as well as a few other questions you might want to consider: "Now would be a great time to set your plan for voting on Tuesday. Who's watching the kids? Who's driving you? Where's your polling place? What should I get Portia for Christmas?" (Photo via Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The People's Choice Awards)
Eva Longoria: In the weeks leading up to the midterms, the multi-hyphenate voiced her personal support for a few select candidates, including Florida congressional candidate Donna Shalala and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. She has also been active in getting out the Latinx vote, and even co-founded the Latino Victory Project — an initiative to boost Hispanic political participation — in 2014. On the Sunday before Election Day, she joined America Ferrera, Gina Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, and Rosario Dawson in speaking at a Latino Victory early voting rally in Florida. "Miami, nuestro voto es nuestra voz, and we need to speak out by voting!" she tweeted. (Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Jada Pinkett Smith: The Girls Trip actress recorded a video about how important it is not only to register to vote but also to show up at the polls. "I remember the first time I voted. I thought I could really make a difference," she said in the short clip. "And I'll tell you what — it definitely wasn't for a midterm election. I didn't even realize until later how important it is to vote in the midterms, not just the presidential ones. … We all have issues that are important to us, and the only way to give a voice to those issues is if you show up and vote. So don't just sit on the sidelines." She also wrote in her caption that the 2018 election is "one of the most important midterm elections of our lifetime." (Photo via Sonia Recchia/Getty Images)
Janelle Monae: The singer headlined a voter registration rally at Spelman College in Atlanta in September, part of a nationwide tour put on by When We All Vote. She also recorded a video for the organization about why voting is so important and special to her. "I remember the first time I went to go vote. My grandmother, who was a sharecropper in Aberdeen, Mississippi — she used to pick cotton, and she didn't have the opportunity to vote when she was growing up," Monae shared. "It was a big thing when I turned 18. I went with her. She made sure that we voted. She made sure to remind us that these rights were not given to her, given to her brothers and sisters, and as a family, we made it a tradition to go vote." (Photo via Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
John Legend: In addition to getting out the vote on Twitter, the newly minted EGOT winner co-hosted an early voting rally in Cincinnati on the Sunday before Election Day. "Great to be back in my home state of Ohio supporting amazing Democrats running for office this year," he tweeted. "If you live in Ohio, be sure to vote @SherrodBrown for Senate, @RichCordray for Gov, yes on Issue 1, and Dem up and down the ticket!" (Photo via Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
Kesha: The "Praying" singer took to Twitter on National Voter Registration Day, writing, "Animals! ... We need our voices to be heard so register here: http://headcount.org/Kesha and let’s lead the change." She also headlined a concert in Pittsburgh on the Saturday before Election Day, which was originally billed as a "Countdown 2 Vote" event but later renamed "Stronger Than Hate" after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in October. (Photo via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Time)
Lin-Manuel Miranda: On the last Saturday before Election Day, the Hamilton creator surprised a bus full of Swing Left volunteers by showing up to take selfies with them. "I'm just here to say thank you so much," he told the group. "This is the best way to spend a Saturday you could have picked." He also joined several past and present Hamilton cast members in a video urging people to go to the polls on November 6. (Photo via Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Minka Kelly: Like many other celebs, the Friday Night Lights alum spent the weekend before Election Day as a volunteer going door-to-door to get out the vote. She and some of her famous pals — including Angelique Cabral, Zoe Lister Jones, Hunter King, and Katie Lowes — joined Swing Left in canvassing for California congressional candidate Katie Hill. (Photo via Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for DC UNIVERSE)
Natalie Portman: The Oscar winner volunteered with Swing Left shortly before the midterms to canvass for Texas congressional candidate MJ Hegar. She also joined America Ferrera on a girls' trip to get out the vote in Arizona. (Photo via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Oprah Winfrey: Imagine opening your front door and seeing Oprah Winfrey standing on your porch. That's exactly what happened for some Georgia residents on the Thursday before Election Day, when the icon canvassed for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. She also gave an impassioned speech at a rally for Abrams in Marietta, Georgia, telling the crowd, "For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn't have the right to vote, and you are choosing not to vote — wherever you are in this state, in this country — you are dishonoring your family. You are disrespecting and disregarding their legacy, their suffering and their dreams, when you don't vote." (Photo via Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
Rihanna: The "Needed Me" singer took to Instagram in October to share an image listing the last day to register to vote in each state. "GOOD MORNING AMERICA .Who is awake this morning? And who's woke?" she captioned the post. "Cause today is an extremely crucial day to the future of America!!! Today is the last day in 14 states to REGISTER TO VOTE... I'm talking to you ARIZONA, ARKANSAS, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, INDIANA, KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA, MICHIGAN, MISSISSIPPI, NEW MEXICO, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS. You have 1 job today and that is to properly register to vote."
She went on to stress the importance of the upcoming election: "I don't care what responsibilities you have today, there's no greater responsibility than being in control of your future and the future starts NOW!! We don't have time, no procrastinating, don't let the discouragement take you off [course], that's not how my people or my generation will go down...this is the loudest way to make your voice heard! REGISTER TODAY! Let's go!!! Go to Vote.org to register and to double and triple check that you are properly registered!" (Photo via Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
Sara Bareilles: The singer-songwriter spent the Saturday before Election Day volunteering for Swing Left. Afterward, she took to Instagram to share some stories about her experience in the field. "The conversations were mostly brief, but it is SO different to walk up to a stranger's home and ultimately remind them that you care about them," she wrote. "You care about them using their voice because they matter. You don't have to change anyone's mind, you just have to ask them what's on it. That is the thing that stays with me the most. Here we are with such different ideas and lives and sons and daughters and parents and communities...rich and poor and everything in between. And I can just listen and try to learn from them. And just remind them they matter. Because they do." (Photo via Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
Taylor Swift: Before this year, the "Delicate" singer had a reputation for staying out of politics, sometimes to critics' chagrin. But that changed in October, when she posted a politically charged Instagram message encouraging fans to cast their ballots in the upcoming November election. "In the past I've been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now," she explained. "Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway."
She went on to share her own plans to vote for Democrats Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper in Tennessee, as well as the reasons why, before issuing one final plea to voters. "So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count," she wrote. "But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!"
In the 24 hours after her message, a whopping 65,000 people registered to vote through Vote.org. (Photo via Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for dcp)
Tom Hanks: The beloved Forrest Gump actor repeatedly urged people to register to vote in the weeks leading up to the midterms, including on October 9, when he tweeted: "Hey, America! In some states today is the last day to register to vote! Have you? Have your friends?? Text WE ALL VOTE to 97779 or go to http://whenweallvote.org to get it done." He also shared a photo of his absentee ballots on November 4, writing, "Our ballots are going in TODAY! What about yours? Be American! Vote your conscience! Hanx!" (Photo via Christopher Polk/Getty Images for People's Choice Awards)
Tracee Ellis Ross: In addition to rocking the vote on social media, the black-ish star made a bold statement with her style at the 2018 American Music Awards, which she hosted. Ross wore several outfits, all by Black designers, but a clear standout was her "I am a voter" T-shirt, which she paired with a voluminous red skirt by Shanel Campbell. (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images for dcp)
Yara Shahidi: The Grown-ish star founded her own nonprofit, Eighteen x 18, to "educate and engage the next generation of voters in America through the power of creative storytelling." The initiative was specifically designed to encourage Gen Z-ers to vote in the midterms, and in September, Eighteen x 18 hosted its first-ever #WeVoteNext summit, where young people from all over the country gathered to talk about the issues that matter most to them. (Photo via Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Girl Up)
Zendaya: The Greatest Showman actress kept her message short and, er, sweet, tweeting on October 7: "Have you registered to vote? If not, do that sh*t!" She even helped out a follower who was confused about registration. (Photo via Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV)