John Oliver voted in a U.S. election for the first time this year now that he is an American citizen, and he said that he "nearly burst into tears" for the occasion. Oliver was a guest on A Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday night, where he discussed the 2020 presidential election from both a comedic and a personal standpoint. Oliver also remarked on his ballot on his own show, Last Week Tonight.
"It was honestly, it was amazing," Oliver said of the voting process. "As an immigrant who had just got his citizenship in December of last year, I was waiting for that to feel real — when you worry about your immigration status all the time and even getting your passport still doesn't feel real because you haven't tested it against a system. Standing in line, I thought maybe this will be it and I didn't feel it."
"Giving them my name and getting the ballot, I didn't feel it," Oliver went on. "Scanning it into the machine and the machine saying, 'Your vote has been counted,' I nearly burst into tears. That is the truth. My eyes got misty. I thought, 'I don't know if I can cry in a voting station.'"
Like many other Americans, Oliver voted early and in person. Back in May, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver did a long story on mail-in voting, explaining its advantages and drawbacks for the election. It noted that absentee ballots are sometimes discounted without the voter being informed, and that their prolific use this year could complicate the election, which might explain why he chose to vote in person.
Oliver has also done several segments on immigration, often referring to his own path through the United States' fraught immigration process. Although he is a well-known performer with an established career in Hollywood, Oliver was not made a citizen until 2019 — over a decade after taking his job on The Daily Show.
Both Oliver and Colbert have made it clear in their shows that they do not support President Donald Trump. Colbert has been criticized at times for making The Late Show more political than it has ever been before. On Tuesday, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is hosting an hour-long Election Day special on Showtime, which will be available to stream afterward for those who are not staying up late. The special is expected to recapture the drama of Colbert's election night episode last year.
Stephen Colbert's Election Night 2020: Democracy's Last Stand: Building Back America Great Again Better 2020 begins at 11 p.m. ET.