On Monday, actress Gwyneth Paltrow will debut in her newest film: a two minute advertisement on behalf of Democrats Abroad, an official party organization that persuades the millions of Democratic voters living outside the country's borders to participate in domestic politics.
The spot, titled 'Where In The World Will YOU Vote?' implores expatriates to ignore the usual excuses and lethargies and cast ballots in the '08 election...preferably for Obama.
Democrats Abroad has launched a partner site, VoteFromAbroad.org, which helps U.S. citizens to register from anywhere in the world (during the primary season, one voter apparently registered via satellite internet from Antarctica).
"I heard people say that they didn't have a right to vote, from abroad," says the ad, narrated by multiple figures, including the London-based Paltrow. "A vote is a vote, regardless of where you are. For anyone who says they don't have a right to vote, you do."
"Vote Democrat. Vote Obama. Vote From Abroad," the spot concludes.
The organization is fighting something of an uphill battle. The advertisement, while harnessing Paltrow's star power, is only going on the web, as it would be all but impossible to effectively air in the 160 countries and territories where Democratic expatriates reside. Also, there are a variety of roadblocks, from the legal to the superficial, that dissuade people from registering. There were approximately 1 million requested ballots for the 2006 midterm election and more than 6 million estimated Democrats abroad.
If that gap can be closed, even slightly, it could be a boon for Obama. According to the group, four of the biggest swing states -- Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania -- receive among the highest number of requests for overseas ballots.
"This is a critical election, and we urge all Americans living abroad to request ballots now. We hope that this video along with our other efforts will help Americans, including over 200,000 American students studying abroad, vote for change this fall," said Christine Schon Marques, International Chair of Democrats Abroad.