Justice

Rihanna Makes Two Good Points About Why You Need to Vote

September 9th 2016

By:
Tricia Tongco

With election day less than two months away, Rihanna is urging her fans to vote.

In a video captured on September 3rd, the pop star says:

"I can’t vote, so y'all gotta do that for me. How many of ya’ll registered to vote?”

The Barbadian singer's comments do a good job of pointing out that this election will affect many Americans who, for one reason or another, are unable to cast a ballot.

As The Atlantic has previously reported, restrictive voter ID laws have been shown to disenfranchise minorities and the poor. For example, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth circuit recently struck down a list of voting restrictions in North Carolina, including the state's I.D. requirement, arguing that they targeted "African Americans with almost surgical precision."

And yet, even as voter fraud has been proven to be virtually non-existent, many Republican policy makers have continued to present it as a major problem in need of a solution.

In an August speech, Presidential Candidate Trump alleged the only way he would lose is if there was "cheating" at the polls and urged his followers to patrol polling places to make sure people provide voter identification.

Rihanna could also be speaking for undocumented immigrants in the United States, who despite not being able to vote, stand to see their future's dramatically impacted by the race between Hillary Clinton and Trump.

Next, Rihanna made another important point:

“It’s crazy numbers right now — over 70 million Americans are not registered to vote and it saddens me because young people are the future.”

As shocking as that number sounds, Rihanna is right about that statistic; according to U.S. Census Bureau Data, about 72 million eligible Americans aren't registered to vote.

She's also got a point about young people's political power. Millennials are now as much of political force as baby boomers, making up 31 percent of the electorate, according to the 31 Pew Research Center. However, the generation has yet to fully exert that voting power. The Pew Research Center also reports that only 46-percent of 18-29 year-olds actually went to the polls in 2012.

Rihanna was careful to point out that she wasn't specifically urging fans to voter against Trump, who has a demonstrated history of making Islamophobic, sexist, and racist comments. She kept it strictly non-partisan.

Young people y'all are the future...the power is in your hands, literally, in your cell phones. Hillary didn't pay me to say that, I promise.

You can register to vote here and watch the clip of her speech below.

[h/t Popcrush]