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MoveOn.org uses customized video to get out the vote

New video from the left-leaning advocacy group embeds recipient's name in faux newscast in attempt to persuade Americans to vote for Barack Obama next month.

Declan McCullagh Former Senior Writer
Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.
Declan McCullagh

Most Americans don't vote. Out of a country with a population of 300 million, 228 million of whom are at least 18 years old, only 121 million voted for George W. Bush or John Kerry in the last presidential election.

President Bush won with 62 million votes, meaning that only a little over one-fifth of the people present in the United States actually selected him. The percentage would be higher, but not enough to change the analysis, after taking into account the presence of non-U.S. citizens who can't (at least legally) vote.

MoveOn.org is hoping to change this. A clever video that the left-leaning advocacy group sent via e-mail on Wednesday includes the recipient's full name featured prominently in the video. The punchline: "Single Nonvoter Tipped Election To McCain-Palin Ticket."

The introductory e-mail says: "Oversleeping. Getting the car fixed. Having to pick up the second-cousin's stepkids on the other side of town. These are just a few of the reasons millions of Americans won't vote on November 4th. It's not like they hate voting. They want to do it. They know they should. And mostly, they intend to. But some of your friends won't get around to actually voting because they haven't been reminded vividly enough."

Yes, you can forward the customized video to friends. Or you can read why the majority of people--including your friends, your neighbors, and perhaps you--won't bother to vote and will be staying home instead.