Sex and the Single Girl (Voter)


If nothing else succeeds in prodding single women toward the ballot booth next month, will sex do it? Wouldn't have done it for me when I was young and single. There's something decidedly unsexy about voting (unsexy but incredibly important nonetheless). But I'm willing to bet I'm wrong, wrong, wrong on whether it'll work for single female gen-Xers.

Women's Voices Women Vote is a nonprofit organization formed to boost "unmarried women's participation in the electorate." The organization claims success in prior elections. This season, the group has produced three public service announcements to run on radio and TV stations, sporting well-known actresses describing their "first time"–er, voting, that is.

The spot is steamy. Here's a description from Women's Voices Women Vote's own website: "Felicity Huffman likes to do it in the morning; Tyne Daly first did it in 1968–the 'Summer of Love'; Angie Harmon researched all the possible positions; and Regina King has done it in other people's houses."

I watched it with a 20-something focus group of one, and she deemed it "catchy" and "cute." My husband thought it was great (although he's neither a woman nor in his 20s). Will it work? Women's Voices reports: "(Single) women on their own increased their share of the electorate from 19 percent in 2000 to 22.4 percent in 2004, a high-turnout year."

So the percentage to watch is 22.4. If single women push their representation higher, then sex does indeed sell.