I Vote, a non-profit campaign that uses photos and videos to remind young Americans why they should vote, knows exactly how to get our attention: Cuss words. They recently released a video that splices together all of the greatest F bombs in movie history…but they replace the F word with another, more powerful, four letter word: Vote.
+Watch Effing Vote 2012
Whether you vote because you want to or because The Godfather told you to (There’s no saying “no” to him!), I Vote wants to see youat the polling stations this November. We recently spoke to I Vote co-creators Haroon “Boon” Saleem and Brendan “No Parenthetical Nickname” Joyce about why they started the campaign, and why young people should effing vote!
ACT: How did this campaign come about? Why did you guys use the F word in it?
BRENDAN: We believe “Vote” can be a four-letter word even more powerful than the F-bomb. Overdubbing these classic curses felt like a perfect way to point it out. For the voice over we tapped our friends from the comedy group Team Tiger Awesome and called in a favor from a top-notch editor. Lucky for us, those mother voters did a really voting great job!
ACT: What would you say to a young person who isn’t interested in voting?
BRENDAN: I totally get it. You feel like your single vote doesn’t matter, or everything’s too broken to fix, or the choices aren’t that different. But there’s a little secret that they don’t want the youth to know…
Those who vote get the power in this country. Seniors vote. That’s why the government gives them so much money. Latinos are a growing voting population. That’s why politicians talk so much about immigration reform. Heck, if Smurfs made up 10% of the Election Day turnout, you’d probably see candidates paint their faces blue.
That’s why it’s so important for the youth to vote — it’s how you get your leaders to pay attention to YOU. If you want to keep college affordable, or you want to have guaranteed health care, or you think that gay rights or protecting the environment or not fighting wars or building an economy for the future is important your vote is the key to making it happen. If you care about anything, anything at all in your life, vote to make it happen.
BOON: What he said. And remind them many countries don’t give their people the power to vote fairly. With the Arab Spring, parts of Africa and the Middle East are just now seeing democracy in action. How f-ing fortunate are we to have this ability when others don’t?!
ACT: What if someone can’t effing vote because they’re underage or not a US Citizen? What can they do to get involved with the election?
BRENDAN: Teenagers are the Rick Ross “Bawses” of the Internet. All they have to do is find the videos, photos, memes and articles they care about and blast them out to their crew on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram etc.
Now you might be thinking, “Come on, how is posting a funny political video the same way I did ‘Gangam Style’ going to make a difference?” Well, in 2000 the presidential election was decided by 537 votes. 6 years later in 2010 a single FB message got an additional 340,000 people to go vote! The numbers don’t lie — post your favorite vids, photos and messages and then horsey dance to victory.
Now, if you’re over 18 but not a citizen, you should also sign up to volunteer for the campaign you like. You can make telephone calls, knock on doors, and help in the “field offices” – where the big shot political generals call the shots. One of my best friends is getting his citizenship right after the election and while he’s frustrated he can’t vote this time, he’s making up for it by being one of the most politically active people I know. How? He co-created I Vote with me.
ACT: The film clips in the PSA are hilarious. Was there any footage you had to cut out?
BRENDAN: That was absolutely the hardest part of making the video — Hollywood has a serious potty mouth so we had so many great clips to pick from. Personally, I really wanted to use some Arnold Schwarzenegger swears because his accent is instant comedy, but we’ll just have to save that for next time.
BOON: We’d be up for another one. What do you guys think? Should we do another video?
Do y’all want I Vote to make another mother voting video?! We voting do! In the meantime, I Vote wants to share you to paint your fingers blue and red and share your reasons for voting on their website, like so: