ROCK THE VOTE MOUNTS LARGEST YOUTH MOBILIZATION IN THE COUNTRY FOR 2014 MIDTERM ELECTIONS
Rock the Vote, the largest non-profit and non-partisan organization in the United States building the political power of young people, is proud to announce on Election Day its achievement in organizing the largest youth mobilization effort in the country for the 2014 midterm elections, registering nearly 700,000 voters – up from 250,000 registered voters in 2010 – through its cutting edge online registration tool. In a year young people faced voting rights challenges, lack of investment by candidate campaigns, and a consistent narrative that turnout would be low, a full 40% of those registered through Rock the Vote technology this year were under the age of 30.
For 2014, Rock the Vote met young people where they are, redesigned its website to make it fully mobile-optimized, informative, and able to meet the needs of a 21st century electorate, and ran a national creative campaign to authentically engage young people across its social media platforms, doubling its following in the process. Rock the Vote also ran an unprecedented effort to engage and register members of the Latino and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, with a focus on Millennials and first time voters.
“More than 93 million strong, Millennials make up the largest generation in our country’s history, outnumbering even the Baby Boomers,” says Ashley Spillane, President of Rock the Vote. “Rock the Vote understands the incredible potential young people have to be a powerful voting bloc and we’re thrilled with the work we’ve done this cycle to register hundreds of thousands of young people, defend their right to vote from restricting voting laws, and mobilize them to participate in the political process.”
Earlier this fall, Rock the Vote released the viral PSA of the midterm elections season: the celebrity-studded “Turn Out For What” music video, starring Lil Jon, Lena Dunham, Darren Criss, Whoopi Goldberg and more, which has garnered 10+ million unique views and generated a variety of coverage from the The New York Times, “Good Morning America,” The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, CNN, “The View,” and more.
To support online efforts, Rock the Vote was involved in more than 80 in-person voter registration drives across the country, providing easy information and how-to guides about the voting process, which included activations at South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits in Austin, Lollapalooza in Chicago, Voodoo Experience in New Orleans, and the Vans Warped Tour.
In tandem with its activations across the country, Rock the Vote’s “Care Like Crazy” advertising campaign featured edgy caricatures of voters speaking directly to the camera about the issues that motivate them to vote – and challenging young people to channel their passion for issues into voting. These ads were aired on “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” – and on online platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Hulu. The TV ads focused on students in Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Rock the Vote also partnered with Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Latinos, to expand the number of Latino voters and coordinate activations in Latino-dense states such as California and Texas. For the AAPI community, Rock the Vote launched a comedic PSA titled “The Hand of Power” under the banner of its Care Like Crazy campaign to activate this influential and dense demographic, which is 18 million strong and the fastest-growing racial group in the country. The PSA has garnered more than 275,000 views to date and enhanced Rock the Vote’s collective efforts with 18MillionRising, APIAVote, the AAPI Civic Engagement Project, and a roster of other AAPI partner organizations to reach and register newly eligible Asian-American and Pacific Islander young voters.
In its mission to raise awareness of the impact voting rights laws have on young people, Rock the Vote launched its Protect Voting coalition of more than 60 advocacy groups including ColorOfChange, HeadCount, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, GLAAD, and Voto Latino and continues to fight aggressively against restrictive voting laws that limit young people’s access to the polls, most notably in Arizona, Kansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
In addition to collaborating with fellow advocacy groups and leading media partners, Rock the Vote expanded its strategic partnerships with the country’s leading youth-driven companies to meet young people where they are. These partners included the Facebook, Google, YouTube, Video Game Voters Network (VGVN), MTV, the Chamber of Commerce, Microsoft, Amalgamated Bank, Lyft, WordPress, Spotify and Pandora, all of whom promoted Rock the Vote’s online voter registration tool – available in 13 languages – in different ways, empowering their audiences to get registered.
Prior to launching its 2014 campaign efforts, Rock the Vote conducted extensive research to determine how to reach an audience of young and widely first-time voters efficiently and effectively. Its refreshed website, launched in June 2014, is designed to be streamlined, user-friendly, and mobile-optimized. It offers a new feature for voters to search their local polling place, search their ballot listings, verify voting hours, and determine where and when to cast their ballot on Election Day.
ABOUT ROCK THE VOTE
Rock the Vote is the largest non-profit and non-partisan organization in the United States building the political power of young people. Fusing pop culture, politics, and technology, Rock the Vote works to mobilize the millennial voting bloc and the youth vote, protect voting rights, and advocate for an electoral process and voting system that works for the 21st century electorate. Since 1990, Rock the Vote has revolutionized the use of pop culture, music, art and technology to inspire political activity. Now, for almost 25 years, Rock the Vote has pioneered ways to make voting easier by simplifying and demystifying voter registration and elections for young adults. Rock the Vote has run the largest voter registration drives for young people on record during the past six Presidential elections. In 2008 and 2012, our on-the-ground efforts, online organizing, and cutting-edge tools and technologies made us the largest non-partisan voter engagement campaign in the nation. All of these efforts have resulted in Rock the Vote registering over six million new voters, bringing millions more to the polls, and becoming a trusted resource for young people, government agencies, and technological innovators passionate about political discourse and engagement. See more information here.