The next presidential election is still two years away, but with some major midterm elections set for this coming Election Day, Rock the Vote is making a grand return to encourage young voters to get active in the political process.
Beginning with the 1992 presidential election, the nonpartisan group – using pop music as their hook – was instrumental in inspiring politically uninvolved baby boomers and Gen-Xers to get off the couch and make their voices heard via the ballot box. With the U.S. now experiencing a demographic shift, the new-look Rock the Vote will refocus their efforts on millienials, of whom only an estimated fewer than 25% will take part in the November 4th midterm elections. The RTV relaunch will be accompanied by a new Rock the Vote website where visitors can get informed, get involved, donate and, most importantly, register to vote.
Rock the Vote will once again be a merging point of music, pop culture, politics and technology as they strive to reach their goal for the midterm elections: Registering 1.5 million people — including 400,000 young people and 200,000 Latinos — to vote. RTV will also seek to kickstart an advocacy campaign to fight back against punitive laws that have made access to polling more difficult for certain citizens, focusing their efforts on states where voting rights are threatened like Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
"Rock The Vote was the first organization to fight to give young people a voice in the political process. By consistently seeking out novel ways to reach new voters, we have run the largest voter registration drives for young people on record during the past six presidential elections," Rock the Vote president Ashley Spillane tells Rolling Stone."This year, Rock The Vote is building on the momentum of its 25-year history to launch the largest ever youth registration and mobilization effort in the country, and using our pulpit to fight against new laws that restrict access to our Constitutionally protected right to vote."
Launched in 1990 by Virgin Records exec Jeff Ayeroff, Rock the Vote has been responsible for registering 6 million people, thanks to their innovative use of youth-centric platforms like MTV. Throughout the years, everyone from Madonna to Aerosmith to Miley Cyrus have encouraged eligible youths to get politically active through the organization.