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Screengrab of ad

Billionaire and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, one of Democrats' biggest donors, tells Axios he's launching a $1 million digital ad campaign in battleground states urging voters to be patient with election results and prepare for no winner to be known on Nov. 3, no matter what "some people" may prematurely declare via Twitter.

Driving the news: The three-minute ad, titled "We Count! A Patriotic Musical Extravaganza," features the voice of "The Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons and Broadway star Barrett Doss. The spot will appear on Facebook targeting voters in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

  • "If it looks like a dumpster fire don't despair," the lyrics say.
  • "Some people might go tweet and say they know the end results, and call a winner well before they should" but "take a deep breath, chill the f***out ... it's gonna take some time to count."
  • The spot was produced by Steve Bodow, former executive producer of "The Daily Show," in partnership with The Story Network Foundation.

What he's saying: "I'm concerned that lies and conspiracy theories are undermining our collective faith in the institution of voting," Hoffman tells Axios.

  • "It seemed to me that we all needed a little reminder — about how votes get counted and why we need to let the process of democracy work."
  • "We’re reaching people in those states most likely to be targeted with politically skewed misinformation, especially the attack upon voting by mail. This project shares the truth, with a healthy dose of civic spirit and fun."

Why it matters: With record levels of early voting and mail-in ballots, it could be several days before we know who the winner of the November 3 election is.

Background: Hoffman, known for gathering mega-donors for influential sessions, tells Axios that he's informally offered advice to the Biden campaign — but he says this project isn't partisan and aims to protect voting and the legitimacy of the results.

  • Hoffman has previously clashed with the Democratic Party over his advocacy tactics and insufficient vetting of partners, Politico has reported.
  • He tells Axios he's committed to protecting "the health of our society" and engaging more Americans in politics and voting as a matter of civic responsibility.

Go deeper

Georgia's early voting starts with heavy turnout

Voters wait in line to vote at the Buckhead Library in Atlanta on the first day of in-person early voting for the Georgia Senate runoff election. Photo: Jason Armond/Getty Images

Georgia's on an early path to a huge turnout in the two runoffs to decide control of the U.S. Senate, according to data from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office crunched by Axios.

By the numbers: Voters cast 482,000 ballots in roughly the first day and a half of early voting this week. That’s equivalent to one-third of the total in the last statewide general election runoff, held in 2018, and about one-fourth of the total ballots in the last Senate runoff, held in 2008.

Updated Dec 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Electoral College affirms Biden's victory

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President-elect Biden officially received the majority of Electoral College votes on Monday, further solidifying his victory even though the outcome of the election has been known for weeks.

Why it matters: The Electoral College result affirms Biden as the next president after weeks of President Trump's false accusations that the election was stolen from him, dozens of failed legal challenges from the Trump campaign, and protests threatening the safety of states' electors.

Updated 60 mins ago - World

Trudeau's Liberals set to form minority government after Canada election win

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government was reelected for a third term in Monday's parliamentary elections, but preliminary results show it failed to win a majority.

Why it matters: Trudeau has governed Canada with a minority of legislative support in parliament for the past two years. Last month, he called for an election two years earlier than scheduled in the hope of forming a majority government.

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