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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sarah Silverman Talks About Voter ID Ad


In a follow-up to her “Great Schlep” video from the last presidential election, Sarah Silverman decided to take on new voter identification laws that could prevent some people from voting this time around.

The video has  touched a nerve and has been viewed more than 1.4 million times since last Thursday. With plenty of four-letter words and a sense of outrage, Ms. Silverman encourages voters to make sure they have the proper identification to vote in November.

In her first interview since the video was released, Ms. Silverman said she was angry about the Republican-backed laws because everyone should have the right to vote. As for the colorful language, she said, it serves a purpose.

“I think it's important to make it kind of shocking,” said Ms. Silverman, who was in New York this week to perform a stand-up show. “The expletives are fairly gratuitous. But you have to be loud to get people to see what's going on.”

Four years ago, the comedian asked young people to travel to Florida to persuade their Jewish grandparents to vote for Barack  Obama. The “Great Schlep” video got more than 2 million views and inspired some young people to take up the challenge.

In the new video, called “Let My People Vote,” Ms. Silverman explains that social security cards, veteran identification cards and college student identification cards will not be accepted at the polls in some states, but handgun permits can be used in some places as identification.

“It makes perfect sense,” Ms. Silverman deadpans in the video. “Get these kids gun permits. Oh, I feel safer from voter fraud already.”

Democr ats have criticized the new voter identification laws for targeting young people, minority members and the elderly, who may be less likely to have photo identification, but Republicans argue they are important to prevent vote fraud. Many of the laws have been challenged in court, and they are currently being reviewed in several states, including Pennsylvania.

The video has spread quickly on Twitter and Facebook in the past few days. Ms. Silverman posted the link to her 3.3 million followers on Twitter last week and sent out another link Tuesday asking people to register to vote.

The video was paid for by the Jewish Council for Education and Research, a “super PAC “that is supporting President Obama. The group is trying to reach young people online to make sure they are registered and enthusiastic about the president's re-election. campaign

Ms. Silverman says there is no question that young people should support Mr. Obama. On the most basic level, she sa id, the president supports a woman's right to abortion, as well as gay marriage. Or in Ms. Silverman's blunt words: “I think that any female, any homosexual and anyone who loves a female or homosexual or has one in their family is crazy to vote for Mitt Romney.”