As midterms approach, more than 54,000 voters are heading to the polls thanks to Harry Styles. Early last month, the pop star partnered with the non-profit voter registration organization HeadCount to boost voter turnout with an incentive that offered fans a chance to attend his costume extravaganza Harryween in Los Angeles. The new voters account for nearly one-third of HeadCount’s more than 190,000 voter registrations this year.
According to HeadCount, within the first 24 hours of the campaign announcement, the non-profit recorded an all-time high of 28,760 new voter registrations. The over 54,300 total registrations Styles yielded through his “Good To Vote” sweepstakes, in addition to the more than 188,000 digital actions fans took that included checking registration status, marks the highest music-driven campaign HeadCount has seen in its 18-year history.
“In 2020, 78 percent of the people that HeadCount registered turned out to vote, so we know these artist partnerships are effective,” HeadCount’s co-founder and executive director Andy Bernstein told Billboard earlier this year. “Having the support of individuals like Harry Styles has a tremendous impact.”
HeadCount has previously teamed up with Ariana Grande, Megan Thee Stallion, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Panic! At The Disco, David Byrne, Anderson .Paak, Tinashe, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews Band, Dead & Company, Paramore, and more to encourage voter registration.
HeadCount’s ongoing partnerships with some of pop music’s biggest stars helped them to reach a milestone of registering more than 200,000 voters ahead of this year’s midterms.
While some artists have been reluctant to potentially isolate their audience by taking a strong political stance, Bernstein champions the importance of utilizing the major platforms these pop stars wield. “Lots of artists want to get their fans out to vote but don’t want to get into the partisan divide,” he told Variety. “But it’s dangerous to assume that democracy will prevail — there are real systemic challenges to how elections work. The whole system is in jeopardy — fair elections take effort.”
When Styles tweeted, “If I could vote in America, I’d vote with kindness” ahead of the 2020 presidential election, the tweet racked up over a million likes.
“This is especially important for the midterms, which often receive less media attention than the presidential elections,” Bernstein added. “It helps us reach more potential voters and ensure people get their voices heard.”
During his six-night run at the Moody Center in Texas, Styles sported a “Beto for Texas” sticker on his guitar, endorsing Beto O’Rourke, who is running for Governor of the state and happened to be in the audience during one of the shows.
“To have his support and get that push from him, it was really just wonderful,” O’Rourke later said on the podcast, Hysteria. “And I can tell you that in the following days, so many young people who really weren’t plugged into this campaign, or really this race, or maybe didn’t know there was an election taking place in Texas, or the issues… they’re taking notice, they’re now in, they’re curious, and they’re coming out and getting registered to vote. That was a huge boost, and I am so grateful to him.”