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15th of November 2018

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Oprah is going door-to-door to convince people to vote

With less than a week until November's midterm elections, celebrities and influencers alike are employing unique strategies to urge people to get out and vote.

From harnessing social media power by sharing posts with millions of viewers to door-to-door canvassing, stars on both sides of the political spectrum are making their voices heard.

While the effects of these public pleas from the famous remain to be seen, awareness around voting and political activism has increased dramatically in recent months.

Oprah joined Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on the campaign trail on Thursday, helping the Democratic candidate make a final push in her narrow race against Republican nominee Brian Kemp.

She spoke at two town hall events for Abrams, where she emphasized the importance in voting to eliminate injustices in society.

“Reality is we see injustices big and small all around us every single day of our lives, and I know it’s easy for a lot of people to feel that you have no power against those injustice,” Oprah said during the first town hall event. "We are not powerless. Every single one of us has the same power at the polls."

Vice President Mike Pence campaigned on the same day for Kemp. "I'd like to remind Stacey and Oprah and Will Ferrell, I'm kind of a big deal, too," he told the crowd at Kemp's campaign event in Dalton, Georgia. "A message for all Stacey Abrams' liberal friends: This ain't Hollywood. This is Georgia."

"Well, I'd like to remind Stacey and Oprah and Will Ferrell: I'm kind of a big deal, too." https://t.co/SS76g065EM pic.twitter.com/QCdPrCOzqF

President Donald Trump is scheduled to campaign with Kemp on Sunday, while former President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the “Our Chance. Our Choice. Our Georgia” rally in support of Abrams on Friday evening in Atlanta. If elected, Abrams will be the first black female governor in the United States.

"Black Panther" star Michael B. Jordan also visited Georgia, surprising black voters at their homes. He teamed up with the voter mobilization movement "Voting While Black."

“I know some of you think your vote doesn’t matter, but your vote can help elect officials who can make a difference on police brutality, criminal justice reform, and racial justice,” Jordan wrote on Instagram.

“We have to do everything in our power to get our friends and families out to vote next Tuesday, November 6th,” he added.

Will Ferrell also visited neighborhoods and a college campus in Georgia to urge students and civilians to vote. Ferrell is just one of the many in Abrams’ celebrity fan base.

In North Dakota, musician Billy Ray Cyrus and actor Mark Ruffalo are working to encourage Native Americans to vote.

Due to a voter ID law upheld by the Supreme Court in October, one must have a residential street address in order to cast a ballot. Many Native Americans lack residential addresses and post office box addresses are not accepted.

This has led to an outpouring of support from celebrities and members of different communities to help Native Americans obtain new addresses in order to vote.

Ruffalo said people in the area have become cognizant of their responsibility to their community in the wake of the new, stricter voting law.

"We're in a rarefied time," he said in an interview on ABC News Live. "I've seen more and more people becoming awakened to what politics means in their lives."

Cyrus got involved in aiding voting efforts in the state after seeing a news story about the new voter ID law.

"Unfortunately, the law's been passed, the clock is ticking," he told ABC News. "There's no sense arguing about it. What we have to do now is take action."

The duo held a free concert in a community on the Standing Rock reservation last week to encourage voter turnout and Native Americans to obtain residential addresses.

Ruffalo also took part in the Stand-N-Vote campaign along with actress Shailene Woodley and musician Dave Matthews to increase Native American voter turnout.

"Big Little Lies" star Zoe Kravitz used Instagram to raise political awareness and encourage voter turnout. She recently shared a post with her official absentee ballot.

Celebrity couple Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds also posted a snap after submitting their ballots.

Actress Minka Kelly posed with an "I Voted" sticker on Instagram and outlined the issues she is passionate on social media.

“Our environment, education for our kids, LGBTQ rights, believing and respecting women, keeping families together, expanding the right to vote, decreasing mass incarceration, [and] reproductive justice,” she wrote alongside her post.

“Black-ish” star Yara Shahidi is extremely vocal about her desire to push millennials to take voting seriously this year.

She founded an initiative Eighteenx18 that drives to “educate and engage the next generation of voters in America through the power of creative storytelling,” according to the website. The group held a summit in late September to raise awareness.

Shahidi’s passion for political advocacy even extended to her Halloween costume this year, as she dressed up as "Civic Duty" ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.

Taylor Swift has made a considerable impact in getting people to the polls.

After she posted her support for Tennessee candidates Jim Cooper for Congress and Phil Bredesen for Senate in a public post on Instagram, voter registration dramatically increased in Tennessee and nationally, according to Vote.org.

In the 48 hours following Swift's call to action, Vote.org received 240,000 voter registrations, including 102,000 from people aged 18-29.

The star recently posted another message encouraging early voting on her social platform.

"We want leadership, not fear-based extremism," she wrote. "Please don’t sit this one out."

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