Musicians Help Roll Out Technology to Register Voters by Text
Today, the non-partisan voter registration organization HeadCount announced that hundreds of musicians will help roll out "HelloVote," a new technology that allows anyone to register to vote via text message or Facebook Messenger.More than 200 musicians including Wilco, Panic! At the Disco, Jack Johnson, Killer Mike, Ani DiFranco, Lil Dicky, The Indigo Girls, Michael Franti and members of The Grateful Dead will make social media posts next Tuesday, September 27th in support of National Voter Registration Day. Artist posts will direct their followers to register to vote by texting "COUNT" to 348-387 or to access the technology at HeadCount.org/RegistertoVote. Each social media post will also feature a photo of the artist holding up HeadCount's "Register to Vote Now" clipboards. The campaign - a celebration of the annual "National Voter Registration Day" - will have a social media reach of more than 200 million followers, and use the "VoterRegistrationDay" hashtag. "We've known for many years that music is the best way to reach Millennials and unregistered voters," said Andy Bernstein, HeadCount's executive director. "We also know that text message is how young people prefer to communicate, so this brings all of that together." The groundbreaking HelloVote mobile voter registration technology was developed by Fight for the Future, a nonpartisan non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and expanding the Internet's transformative power. It is the first tool that allows voters to register over text message or Facebook, in just a minute. It is also integrated with 20 different states' online voter registration platform, making it the only technology that allows for true online voter registration in a variety of states. HelloVote uses SMS and chat bot technology to enable voters to register on Facebook Messenger or on any cell phone or tablet, even a flip phone. A full 96% of Americans have a cell phone, which means nearly every American can use HelloVote to register. Since HeadCount's inception in 2004, the organization has worked with musicians and the music industry to increase youth participation in democracy. With over 15,000 volunteers nationwide organizing activity at over 1,000 concerts, festivals and community events each election year, HeadCount has helped register nearly 400,000 new voters. But there is still much work to be done, specifically with younger voters. This year approximately 15.5 million Americans age 21 or under are eligible to vote in their first presidential election. And for the first time ever, more Millennials (age 18 to 34) will be eligible to vote than Baby Boomers (age 51 to 69). Still, in a review of the 2012 Presidential election, the US Census Bureau reported that 12.7 million of 18-24 year olds were not registered to vote, and only 46% of those eligible cast ballots. Look for additional HeadCount announcements surrounding National Voter Registration Day (Sept 27), the start of early voting, and of course, Election Day. For more information, visit www.HeadCount.org.
HeadCount unleashes the power of musicians and fans to make a difference. Founded by a group of musicians in 2004, including Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead and Marc Brownstein of the Disco Biscuits, the non-partisan organization has registered over 360,000 voters, and have helped motivate millions of millennials to be informed, vocal citizens. HeadCount uses the power of musicians, the passion of fans and the hard work of volunteers to promote participation in democracy.HelloVote is the first chatbot-based tool that allows voters to register over text message or Facebook Messenger in under one minute. HelloVote dramatically improves the user experience of civic participation for millions of mobile-first Americans in collaboration with partners nationwide. Co-created by Tiffiniy Cheng, Jeff Lyon, Josh Levinger, Holmes Wilson, and Elana Berkowitz, HelloVote is a non-partisan 501c3 project of Fight for the Future and the Fight for the Future Education Fund.