PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Three local politicians are getting naked to get people talking, using the power of social media and the female body to raise awareness about “naked ballots.”
“A million impressions in 24 hours and that was just on Twitter alone, so again, it’s working,” said Bethany Hallam, Allegheny County council member at large.
Hallam serves on the Allegheny County Board of Elections and thought the photo campaign would stop people mid-scroll on Twitter.
“We figured we had to get creative. We had to get folks’ attention,” said Hallam.
Desperate times call for desperate measures! So your favorite elected officials got naked so that you remember to make sure that your mail-in ballot is NOT submitted without its secrecy envelope!! #nonakedballots #dressyourballot pic.twitter.com/bQXaQRHj0j
— Bethany Hallam (@bethanyhallam) September 26, 2020
And attention they got — three topless local politicians, reminding you to “dress your ballot.”
“The first round of photos that went out was myself, county council member Liv Bennet and state rep. elect Emily Kinkead.”
The three were shirtless with strategically placed graphics to explain the three steps.
First, fill out your ballot. Second, place the ballot in the white secrecy envelope labeled “Official Election Ballot.” Then third, put that inside the outer envelope, fill it out and sign the voter’s declaration on the backside.
“We are all great friends outside of politics, so it really was just a group text: ‘Hey! I have this wild idea. You all have heard of naked ballots, well what if we got naked to raise awareness for folks to remember not to submit a naked ballot?’”
The Twitter comment section underneath Hallam’s post shows not everyone loved the idea.
“The desperation does reek,” said one user.
“This objectifies women,” tweets another user.
Still, councilwoman Hallam tells KDKA state experts predict 100,000 Pennsylvanians will send in “naked ballots” and invalidate their votes on Nov. 3.
“The point of this campaign was to get people talking and that’s what’s happening,” said Hallam. “Whether they’re in favor of this or whether they think it’s a great idea or whether they’re saying that the 19th amendment should be repealed, people are talking about it and if nothing else — people are going to remember not to submit a naked ballot.”
Hallam said don’t worry — they’re not really topless. They’re wearing strapless bras underneath the graphics.
Pictures of three more female local politicians will hit Twitter later Monday. Hallam said she’s hoping some male politicians will want to join the campaign as well.