Your Voice 2016
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New York City’s Board of Elections is up to something with its latest Twitter-based campaign. Just don’t try to figure out what it is, or you might hurt yourself.
The group, which oversees elections in the city’s five boroughs, posted the following public service announcement to Twitter on Friday.
I have thought of little else besides this tweet since I first saw it this morning. Looking at it traps my mind in this weird mental loop where I try to decipher its meaning and just end up back where I started every time.
Let me share my mental journey with you. I think this tweet is about…voter fraud. Here me out on this one.
This is just the latest in a series of “Your X, Your Vote” PSAs the board has posted in October. None cause quite the level of cognitive dissonance and mental distress that the grilled cheese one does, but they definitely still leave you scratching your head wondering “what’s the point?”
Going back further, into September, the ads change slightly. The formatting of white text on colored background over a photo stays the same, but the message gets a bit more clear.
When you add these to the mix, a weird message begins to congeal. “Don’t let your friends vote for you.” Is that really a problem in need of addressing? Voter fraud is pretty rare, with incident rates as low as 0.00004% in some studies. And most of those incidents were from administrative errors, not people trying to cast votes for their friends.
Maybe I’m being too literal and the ads are actually advocating being independently minded. “Don’t let your friends tell you how to vote.” But, again, is that something that needs addressing? I don’t even let my friends tell me what appetizers to get (never wings, always mozzarella sticks).
I’ve thought of cheese, so now I’m back to the original tweet. My grilled cheese. My vote. I’m still no closer to figuring this out than when I started. But I am a lot hungrier and have mentally added American cheese singles to my grocery list. Maybe the American Dairy Association was behind this all along.