The YouTuber has reportedly received over 10,000 messages from people proving their vote for the Democratic nominee – but has she broken electoral law?
As everyone in the world is aware, the US presidential election is fast approaching on November 3. Galvanised by the terrifying possibility of Donald Trump being re-elected, celebs including Tyler, the Creator, Kylie Jenner, Frank Ocean, and Billie Eilish are using their platforms to urge their followers to vote.
Now, others are getting in on the action – but with a NSFW twist. Last week (September 30), YouTuber Tana Mongeau launched her ‘Booty for Biden’ campaign, which offered free nudes in exchange for proof that you were voting for Joe Biden.
In a now-deleted tweet, Mongeau directed followers to her OnlyFans account, with the caption: “If you send me proof you voted for Biden, I’ll send you a nude for free.” In an Instagram post shared on October 1 – which featured a half-dressed Mongeau with Biden’s face edited over hers – Mongeau added: “#BootyForBiden broke Tana uncensored. Love to see so many ppl who want change as badly as I do. U don’t need my ass to know what’s right for America so go VOTE!”
UPDATE: Tana Mongeau says she got thousands of messages on OnlyFans after offering nudes in exchange for proof of vote for Biden. Tana says people “willingly voted for Biden.” According to Cornell University, making any offer to exchange something for vote is an electoral crime. pic.twitter.com/h7UptbafKE— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) October 1, 2020
In a video shared on TikTok, Mongeau said she had received over 10,000 messages from people who proved they were voting for Biden. The YouTuber also shared a clip to her Instagram Stories – later reposted on Twitter – in which she said the reaction to her campaign was “the best thing ever”. She added: “You don’t need my ass to make you go vote. So go vote because you wanna see a change in this country just like me, and thank you to everyone who joined me today.”
However, it’s been suggested that Mongeau may have committed an electoral crime by offering nudes for votes (AKA vote buying), and asking people to send proof of who they’ve voted for. According to Cornell University, “whoever makes or offers to make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withold his vote, or to vote for or against any candidate” can be fined and face up to two years in prison.
For those sending proof of their vote, where they live in the US could impact the legality of their actions. According to Vox, in 21 states it’s legal to take a photo with a ballot, but in at least 16 other states, it’s illegal and could result in a fine or jail time.
Yesterday (October 4), TMZ reported that Mongeau had lost her YouTube verification, with speculation arising that it’s because she may have violated electoral law. It’s not yet clear if this is the case.
UPDATE: Tana Mongeau may have committed electoral crime by asking followers to send proof they voted for Biden in exchange for nude. It’s a crime to share images of who you vote for in 16 States, and in 13 States it is unclear. “Vote buying” is also an electoral crime. pic.twitter.com/3qcuyJ8zGv— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) October 1, 2020
Since Mongeau’s original offer, a number of sex workers have joined the trend, linking their OnlyFans accounts in tweets announcing their support for Biden. “Show me you’re registered to vote, and are voting for a booty pic,” one wrote. “#BootyForBiden @tanamongeau greatest idea and I’m here for it too.”
This isn’t the first time sex workers have used their nudes to help a worthy cause. In January, as fires blazed across Australia, model Kaylen Ward (AKA the Naked Philanthropist) raised over $1 million (£773k) for wildfire fundraisers after offering to send nudes to anyone who donated $10 to the cause. The viral success of her campaign inspired a number of other sex workers, who earned thousands more.
“People don’t think of sex workers as environmentalists,” sex worker Lexi Azzola told Dazed at the time, “they don’t think of them as having other interests. So I thought it would be a really good movement to help give a better face to sex workers.”