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Oprah's friend Tyler Perry is a man of many talents. He's an actor, director, producer and creator of the hilarious character "Madea." In October 2008, this famous Georgia resident took on another title—first-time voter. "I was shocked to learn he has actually never voted before…never!" Oprah says.

Until now, Tyler says he's been too embarrassed to admit he's never participated in an election. "When people look up to you, you should set a better example," he says. "But I hadn't voted because, like many people my age or many people like me or many people who come from the background that I come from, they think: 'What's the point in voting? It's not going to change anything.'"

Thankfully, Senator John McCain's and Senator Barack Obama's historic campaigns have changed Tyler's opinion of the electoral process. "It's really easy to just say, 'Oh, I'm just going to register to vote and not tell a soul.' Nobody would have been none the wiser," he says. "But I just want everybody who thinks the same way that I did—who thinks that your vote doesn't count, who thinks that you're too insignificant to matter—that it's the wrong way to think."

Tyler says he believes this presidential election is one of the most important in American history, and he encourages every citizen to follow his lead. "It can't be about me, me, me," he says. "It has to be about the health, growth and strength of this great nation we call America."
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FROM: A Two-Day Election Event: Oprah's Voting Party
Published on November 04, 2008

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