HeadCount is a banner that concertgoers are familiar with from past election years, as an organization renowned for voter registration drives at U.S. concert tour stops. With that being a non-existent way of finding latent voters in 2020, the organization is teaming up with the Global Citizen for a new partnership that will use music stars, among others, to encourage young people to register for the first time.
A list of participating musicians and other entertainers will likely not be revealed until the initiative between the two nonpartisan organizations ramps up in early September. Many of the same stars that took part in Global Citizen’s livestream events in the early months of the pandemic are expected to be on board for the voter registration drive in the two months before the election.
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For Global Citizen, which would normally be focused on a massive outdoor Global Citizen Festival this time of year, the voter registration focus will offer not just an alternative for the focus that would have gone into that but also a reminder that the advocacy org puts its efforts into more than just the COVID-19 relief and world health concerns that have famously occupied its attention this year.
Said Global Citizen co-founder/CEO Hugh Evans, “America’s influence in the world — to tackle pandemics, address climate change, and pursue opportunity for all — is fundamental to achieving Global Citizen’s vision of a world free from extreme poverty. Right now, voter registration is at historic lows given that COVID-19 has prevented young people from registering in their local communities, at live events or the DMV. Global Citizen is proud to be joining forces with HeadCount. Our work together will help ensure the voices of America’s youth are heard on election day.”
The org said its goal in teaming with HeadCount is to get 50,000 young people to register to vote in the run-up to the November election, and to “engage” a million voters overall. But it’s also being described as a multi-year partnership that won’t end in November.
“It has never been more important to find ways of meeting people where they are to register them to vote,” said Andy Bernstein, HeadCount’s executive director. “So many of us are turning to entertainment and pop culture as a way to deal with these uncertain times, and because of this historic partnership, HeadCount and Global Citizen will be able to leverage the power of artists and music to reach new voters. We’re proud to marshal our teams together in the critical work of engaging young people in our democratic process.”
Global Citizen cited a recent study taken in 11 states showing that, in April of this year, the number of new voter registrations was down 70% versus the same period in the election cycle four years ago.