Ryan Reynolds, star of Deadpool and the much-loved Foolproof, took time out of his busy schedule of being a Canadian national treasure to encourage his American fans to register to vote. He was one of hundreds of public figures to encourage people to participate in National Voter Registration Day, an event aimed at increasing voter turnout ahead of the 2020 Presidential election in the United States. His plea comes on the heels of Clone High co-creator Chris Miller offering his services as former U.S. President John F. Kennedy to folks who can prove they voted early in close races this year.
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).
"I'm sitting here on set; I had a little break, thought I'd make a video and let you know it's Voter Registration Day," Reynolds says in his video, which you can see below. "Which is a huge day. For me, it's like Christmas Day, the Christmas Day of voting. Except what's under the tree is the rest of our lives. So, no pressure."
You can check it out below.
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 Canadian superheroes, or former cartoon Presidents) to try to drive turnout in creative ways.
If you haven't already, go to https://vote.org and get registered before the deadline in your state. It only takes a couple of minutes.