This Voting PSA Would Make Aretha Franklin Proud
According to the CEO behind the ad, only 23 percent of eligible voters between 18 and 35 voted in the 2014 midterms.
October 08, 2018 at 7:46 pm
Ahead of the November 2018 midterm elections, a few young folks channeled the spirit of Aretha Franklin to encourage their peers to cast a ballot. In a new PSA created by When We All Vote, a group of young voters recite the Queen of Soul’s hit "Respect" while 19-year-old musician Sterling Elliot plays the tune on his cello.
In a press release sent to Blavity, Kyle Lierman, CEO of When We All Vote, said he hopes the ad will encourage young people to come to the polls.
“In the 2014 midterms, only 23 percent of eligible 18 to 35-year-olds cast a ballot,” Lierman said. "But in 2018, young people all across the country are speaking up, demanding respect and registering to vote."
Director Maggie Burrows said she believes the song is the perfect anthem for energizing young voters.
“When We All Vote gives these voices a platform to call on their peers. Inspired by Aretha Franklin’s adaptation, this video makes R-E-S-P-E-C-T into an anthem for young people — young voters — all across America.”
These ads were released less than two months after Franklin’s August 16 death. The legend was an activist and had no issue with her music being used for the movement.
“It’s important for people. Not just me or the civil rights movement or women — it’s important to people. And I was asked what recording of mine I’d put in a time capsule, and it was 'Respect.' Because people want respect — even small children, even babies. As people, we deserve respect from one another,” the queen told Vogue in 2016.
When We All Vote wants to make it easy for folks to become registered voters. If you’re not registered, text WeAllVote to 97779. The New York Times put together a nifty list of registration deadlines by state for those who want to vote on November 6, so if you're not registered, check there to see how much time you have left to do so!
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