Pennsylvania Politicians get naked to raise awareness of Pa.’s ballot secrecy envelopes

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Bethany Hallam, Emily Kinkaid and Allegheny County Councilmembers shed clothes as reminder that state’s mail-in ballots must be placed inside secrecy envelope

Bethany Hallam thought the best way to dress up her message that votes are in danger of not being counted in the vital swing state of Pennsylvania was to strip it down to the basics, so she did – literally.

“Do you want to get naked to save democracy?” fellow Allegheny county council member Olivia Bennett said Hallam asked her a few days ago.

“I said: OK!” Bennett recalled, laughing.

The two councilwomen recruited a third “badass”, state representative-elect Emily Kinkead, and posed for the camera, shedding their clothes and then posting the results on social media with their breasts hidden behind images of the “secrecy envelope” being sent out to Pennsylvanians along with their ballots for postal voting.

If voters mail in their ballot without putting it first in the secrecy envelope and then putting that inside the outer, addressed envelope, the authorities will not count the vote and it will be discarded as a “naked ballot”. So Hallam and her allies wanted to warn voters of the threat.

Joining Hallam in the first round of the campaign are Allegheny County Council member Olivia “Liv” Bennett and state House of Representatives candidate Emily Kinkead, who’s running for the 20th district seat in Allegheny County.

“There’s a lot misinformation going around about mail-in voting,” Hallam told TribLive. “It’s brand new. Most voters, this is the first time they’re ever voting by mail. I reached out to my friends who are elected officials, as well, and I was like, ‘Hey, I have this wild idea. Let’s get naked to try to save our democracy.'”

Etna Councilwoman Jessica Semler, state Rep. Sara Innamorato and Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby are expected to join the #dressyourballot campaign on Monday.

Reactions to the the edgy photos have ranged on Twitter.

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