November 17, 2018

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Celebrities Voting: Demi Lovato, Kerry Washington, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Others Head to the Polls

Celebrities Voting: Demi Lovato, Kerry Washington, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Others Head to the Polls
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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.

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.

On Tuesday morning, a bunch of celebrities, including the actresses Maggie Gyllenhaal and Zoe Kazan, encouraged their fans to go vote and offered them an incentive to do so: Share a photo of your “I Voted” sticker, they said, and they would share it with their followers.

The singer Melissa Etheridge shared a selfie with her “I Voted,” as did the actress Melissa McCarthy and Jimmy Fallon. The actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former Republican governor of California, encouraged people bring friends out to vote too.

“Get to the polls!” Mr. Schwarzenegger said in a video he shared on Twitter.

Beyoncé posted to Instagram three times wearing a black cropped hoodie, black pants and a black and white hat with the name Beto emblazoned on it, in support of Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Texas. Beyoncé is originally from Houston, but it was not clear where she had voted.

“Every vote counts, every race matters, everywhere,” she captioned one of her photos.

Mike Sorrentino, the reality TV star known as “The Situation” on “Jersey Shore” who was sentenced in October to eight months in prison for tax evasion, advocated for voting. The former Disney stars Zendaya and Nick Jonas voted on Tuesday and showed off their stickers.

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.

[Make sense of the people, issues and ideas shaping the 2018 elections with our new politics newsletter.]

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.”

Demi Lovato posted a photo of herself at the voting booth to her Instagram account.

“I am so grateful to be home in time to vote!,” Ms. Lovato captioned her photo.

The post is the first time Ms. Lovato has posted anything to her social media accounts since she entered rehab after an episode that the authorities described as an overdose this past July.

Mindy Kaling also posted a photo of herself sporting her “I Voted” sticker to her Instagram account. Ms. Kaling made light of the amendments that grant her birthright citizenship in her Instagram caption.

“Thank you 14th & 19th Amendment for letting me vote today!,” Ms. Kaling captioned her photo.

The actress recently tweeted about what it would mean for her to lose her birthright citizenship.

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.

But for the most part, the big-name stars joined Democratic candidates. Case in point: 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. Mr. O’Rourke has campaigned with Willie Nelson and even jammed onstage with him.





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