WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As with everything 2020, Election Day promises to be anything but ordinary. Experts predict that more than 150 million votes will be cast this year, likely representing the highest turnout rate (by percentage of eligible voters) we've seen since 1904. With record numbers voting early and by mail—combined with postal delays, court challenges, intentional disinformation, and many states legally prohibited from processing mail ballots until Election Day—it is likely that we won't know the winner of the presidential election on November 3rd as record numbers of votes are processed and counted.
And that's ok.
To educate voters on the importance of making sure every vote is counted, and to ensure incomplete, misleading results are not announced prematurely, Story Network Foundation launched a new effort—featuring an all-star cast of talent—targeted to voters in swing states who may experience significant counting delays.
"We Count! A Patriotic Musical Extravaganza" is a light-hearted musical tribute to how—especially this election season—votes are going to take time to count. Featuring the voices of Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") and Broadway star Barrett Doss, the animated video makes a 3-minute musical case for why 2020 will be unlike any other election and why we may not know who wins every race on election night. With such high levels of voter enthusiasm and more mail-in balloting than ever before, the threat of disinformation and candidates gearing up to declare themselves the winner before all the votes are counted means it's more important than ever to take a deep breath, chill out, and take the time needed to count every vote.
Reid Hoffman, the entrepreneur and LinkedIn founder funding this effort, said, "Democracies are healthy and work best when a country's citizens vote and every vote is counted. Given the coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever are casting their vote in different ways, including by mail and early in-person. Those votes take time to process, count, and tally, and we must be patient as election officials work through the process."
"This year, many predict that we may see a 'red mirage' on election night, as states quickly process and tally the votes of in-person Election Day voters—expected to be disproportionately Republican," Hoffman continued. "Of course it will take more time to process and count the millions of other votes that have already been cast early or by mail. It is critical that the media and the general public resist political pressure to prematurely call the election based on skewed, incomplete results. With record numbers of people voting in this election, we must take the time necessary to count every vote and determine the rightful winner."
Steve Bodow, formerly executive producer of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah," and executive producer of "We Count!" said, "As much as we'd all love to move on from this election—and we'd really love it—we can't let that damage our democracy. When an election is decided is far less important than how it's decided. That's why we have to count every vote. And we hope "We Count!" will help Americans remember that efforts to prematurely end that counting, and ignore the will of the people, have no place in our democracy."
Music and lyrics for We Count! were written by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and David Yazbek. Pasek and Paul are the Oscar, Golden Globe, Grammy, and Tony-award winning team behind La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen, and Yazbek is a multiple Tony and Grammy Award winner behind acclaimed shows like The Band's Visit and Tootsie.
The video has already gone viral and is being shared organically across social media platforms; and Reid has contributed $1 million for a digital advertising campaign to reach voters in eight swing states where the count may take longer than usual: Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
The full, uncensored video is available for embed and download on 2020WeCount.com. Social media friendly native versions are also available for download, with a full version suitable for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram TV and a 1-minute cut suitable for Instagram feeds. A version for Tik Tok is available here. A family-friendly version without any swear words is available here.
SOURCE Story Network Foundation