If you want a quick message from Clone High's John Fitzgerald Kennedy, you're in luck...as long as you are a registered voter in a handful of states with competitive races in the forthcoming United States election. Chris Miller, co-creator of Clone High and one of the minds behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The LEGO Movie, is offering fans of the late, lamented series a chance to hear his JFK once again if they can provide evidence that they voted early, in the states where races are competitive and early voting is allowed. The message you can earn is one sentence of your choosing, and while it's cool, Miller makes sure to note it has no monetary value.
That's likely because providing a quid pro quo for voting gets into a gray area legally; while it's not generally pursued unless someone is seen as bribing voters to vote for a specific candidate (or against), there are laws on the books that make it a crime to incentivize people to vote, or not vote. Of course, "experiences" that have no tangible monetary value, whether it be events held around the election or things as simple as "I voted" stickers, are generally not seen as being a problem.
You can see Miller's plea (in the form of a short, funny video) below.
Clone High's JFK wants you to vote early. pic.twitter.com/IWPjKLjx5S— Christopher Miller (@chrizmillr) September 21, 2020
The U.S. trails most developed countries in voter turnout, with only about 55% of the voting-age population turning out to vote in the 2016 Presidential election. Off-cycle elections (when the presidency is not on the ballot) tend to draw even fewer voters. Comparably, the U.S. ranks 25th out of 35 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
There are common institutional barriers to voting, including campaigns by major political parties to disenfranchise voters seen as more likely to vote against them, that mean the number of votes counted in the U.S. is also typically smaller than the number of votes cast. Potential solutions, aimed to increasing turnout and driving faith in the electoral process, tend to be proposed around the time of an election or shortly after, when the issue is in the zeitgeist, but forgotten soon after as Democrats and Republicans fail to come to terms on how such policies would be implemented.
As such, it falls to non-profit organizations (and sometimes former cartoon Presidents) to try to drive turnout in creative ways.
Clone High was a short-lived animated series that ran in 2002 and 2003 on MTV, created by Miller, his frequent collaborator Phil Lord, and Scrubs and Spin City creator Bill Lawrence. The series centered on a high school populated by the clones of famous historical figures, including Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, and Cleopatra. A bit like the Bill and Ted movies but with a more surreal spin, Clone High has lived on as a cult favorite, and during a recent episode of Fake Doctors, Real Friends, Lawrence told hosts Zach Braff and Donald Faison that he would love to figure out a way to revisit the concept now that he, Lord, and Miller are so much more experienced and influential than they were at the time of its creation. In July, news broke that MTV was exploring the idea of a revival.