By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On March 1, Alabama voters will go to the polls to decide who will represent the Republican and Democratic Parties in the November Presidential election. Other offices on the 2016 ballot include US Senator, US Representative, Public Service Commission President, Alabama Supreme Court Justice, as well as many county offices. The only that matter in an election however are the people that turnout to vote. Historically young people are the least likely to actually participate in the democratic process. Only ten percent of Alabama millennials participated in the 2012 presidential election according to New York Times exit polling.
On Tuesday, December 29, a group announced an effort to change that. The Committee of 100 are challenging Alabama millennials to make a different kind of New Year’s resolution this year: take a pledge to vote in one hundred percent of 2016 elections.
The Committee of 100 — known for their local “Rock The Vote” events to encourage civic engagement — took to social media with a new voting initiative: #Vote100. The voter engagement campaign uses satirical commercials to accentuate the voting dearth in Alabama. From a crazy cat lady, to an internet troll, the spots mock online culture and a generation that is traditionally apathetic about voting.
The ads were created by Prototype Media and feature former cast members from Lowe Mill comedy troupe “Crash Boom Bang.” The actors include: Jon Sawa, Ashley Vaughn and Clem Wrightington.
The Chair of Rock the Vote, Emily Elam said in a statement, “Even issues that we think don’t apply can affect us. We need a vibrant and healthy community to be successful ourselves and politics has a huge impact on us and our neighbors. Politics matter, whether we want it to or not. From the closing of state parks this year, to the failure of growler sales by breweries to pass in the state senate, the youth vote can make a difference.”
Rock the Vote spokeswoman Bronwen Murray said, “Not many people realize that Alabama is very important in the primary election because it is one of the earliest primaries. Nevada, New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina get all the headlines. But Alabama casts primary votes the first day of March, making us one of eleven early voting states. What a lot of voters don’t realize is that Alabama has more delegates up for grabs than either Iowa or New Hampshire. So when someone tells you this primary vote in March doesn’t matter, they are absolutely wrong.”
The Committee of 100’s traditional “Rock The Vote” event will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2016. The event is free and will be held at the new Campus 805 brewery at 2620 Clinton Avenue in Huntsville. The event provides an opportunity for young voters to mix and mingle with candidates for office. If attendees complete a review of their voting districts, register to vote, or update their voter registration, they will be eligible to win door prizes. This is the fifth “Rock The Vote” by the Committee of 100 and is the only event of its kind in Alabama. There will be free barbeque, beverages and live music by Archie Hubbard.
To see the commercials videos and for more information on the #Vote100 pledge or “Rock The Vote” event visit www.RockTheVoteHSV.com.