Rock the Vote announces largest-ever midterm voter registration campaign

Today, two months before states’ voter registration deadlines begin, Rock the Vote (RTV) – the nation’s largest non-partisan organization focused on the political engagement of 18- to 29- year olds – detailed its plans for the largest, most aggressive midterm campaign in the organization’s 20-year history.

During the 2010 cycle, RTV will register 200,000 young people quadrupling its 2006 registration levels focusing primarily on newly eligible voters and those who have moved since the 2008 election. To accomplish that goal, RTV is registering and engaging young people where they are online and on the ground with an emphasis on five states: Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“Research indicates that young people are still engaged in the political process but are waiting for that invitation to participate in 2010,” says Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote. “We are encouraging young people to participate by providing the tools and information they need to register and turn out on Election Day. Our mission is critical since one-third of 2008’s enthusiastic electorate has moved and needs to re-register and almost 13,000 young people turn 18 every day.”

RTV is reaching this new generation of voters in person, in popular media outlets and online using the sophisticated registration and turnout tactics we’ve developed throughout our history. The cornerstone of RTV’s efforts is its online voter registration tool that has already been used to register more than 120,000 people this cycle. The online tool is on RTV’s digital properties and is also being used by a diverse group of political organizations, artists, non-profits and media outlets like Green Day, Pink, N.E.R.D., Jason Mraz, the WWE, Tom Perriello for Congress, Ohio Republican Party, Young Democrats of America, California Republican Party, LULAC, Asian Pacific Islander American Vote, Vote Again 2010, Bold Nebraska, the City of Gainesville and hundreds of others.

Other strategies to look for this election cycle include:

  • Organizing young people at concerts, festivals and major campus events.
  • The launch of our online action platform,, that allows anyone in the country to sponsor an event with Rock the Vote and invite community members to join.
  • Welcoming students back with “Move-In Day” voter registration efforts at universities like Ohio State, Penn State and University of Central Florida.
  • Teaching civics and registering voters in high school classrooms through the launch of our Democracy Class program (
  • Asking candidates to attend forums in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Colorado, where young people will have a chance to ask politicians questions on the issues they really care about. • Commissioning polling data that will inform leaders and decision-makers about the key issues affecting young people and track their behavior.
  • Integrating entertainment into politics by planning a 20th Anniversary Concert Tour that will kick off on Sept. 28.
  • Partnering with Trick or Vote for door-to-door canvassing to Get Out the Vote in Halloween costumes.

The 2010 elections also mark RTV’s 20th anniversary. Founded at the intersection of pop culture and politics, RTV has built the political power of the Millennial Generation by registering more youth to vote than any other organization or campaign, including more than 2 million voters in 2008. We look forward to carrying on that tradition in 2010.

About Rock the

Rock the Vote’s mission is to engage and build political power for young people in our country. Founded twenty years ago at the intersection of popular culture and politics, Rock the Vote is growing its team and its campaigns in 2010, to support the tidal wave of young people who want to get involved in elections and seize the power of the youth vote to create political and social change. Over the last two decades, Rock the Vote has registered more young people to vote than any other organization or campaign, and we intend to register and turn out millions more in 2010 and to be the best-informed place online where young people can find out what they need to know before casting a ballot.

After years of declining participation at the polls, a new generation of young voters has arrived. Millions of new voters between the ages of 18-29 cast ballots in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Rock the Vote is dedicated to building the political power and clout of the Millennial Generation by registering and turning out young people, by forcing the candidates to campaign to them and by making politicians pay attention to youth and the issues they care about once in office.