By Honey Gillard

With the U.S election only weeks away, voting administrations are working hard to encourage youth to vote. In the latest ‘Declare Yourself’ campaign, celebrities have jumped to support the cause, posing for ads and campaigns, as well as spread the message by words.

The latest in the non-partisan campaign, is a photo of actress Jessica Alba, wearing a Hannibal Lecter style mask called “The Muzzler” and crying.

“Only you can silence yourself,” the ad reads. “Make them hear you. Register to vote now.”

This is Alba’s second ad for the campaign – the first showing the actress ‘naked and appearing in an S&M sex scene. Her mouth and upper torso is taped with shiny black electrical tape, she appears to be crying’. (1)

The theatrical and shocking images are imperative to the campaign, according to the 27-year-old, as they “really resonate” with the issue of voting.

“I think it is important for young people to be aware of the need we have in this country to get them more active politically.” Alba stated, “People respond to things that are shocking.”

“I really don’t see the point in not registering to vote,” continued Alba. “We sign up for ‘MySpace’ pages and ‘Facebook’ pages, and download music off the Internet. The least people can do is register to vote online, actually making a difference in their world, not just making their lives a little bit cooler. It makes more sense to spend your time making a change in society—and it actually doesn’t take that much time! It takes more time to make a music play list than it does to register to vote.”

“If you don’t register and vote and make a difference, and hopefully change the bad things that are happening in our country, you are essentially just binding and muzzling yourself,” she added.

Declare Yourself is a non-partisan, non-profit campaign aiming to empower every eligible American, 18-to-29 years old, to register to vote in the 2008 presidential election. The campaign, “Only You Can Silence Yourself,” will communicate the importance of voting, reminding young Americans that only they can stop themselves from participating in democracy.

To register to vote or to learn how to vote early, visit For voting locations, visit

Other celebrities supporting the effort include Christina Aguilera, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres, Kate Bosworth, Forest Whitaker, Natalie Portman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Halle Berry, and Kevin Bacon.

Remember Election Day is November 4, 2008.

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