On National Voter Registration Day in the U.S., Taylor Swift urged her millions of fans to Speak Now and let their democratic voices be heard. Her callout led to “record-breaking traffic” to Vote.org, a non-profit voting registration website, which said it saw the most sign-ups in years thanks to the pop star’s help.
Swift shared a message on her Instagram story Tuesday morning asking her fans if they had registered to vote yet for the upcoming 2024 U.S. elections.
“I’ve been so lucky to see so many of you guys at my US shows recently. I’ve heard you raise your voices, and I know how powerful they are. Make sure you’re ready to use them in our elections this year!”
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Within the hour that Swift made her post, traffic on the Vote.org website shot up 1226 per cent, according to Vote.org CEO Andrea Hailey.
“Our site was averaging 13,000 users every 30 minutes — a number that Taylor Swift would be proud of,” Hailey wrote in a press release shared with Global News.
Thirteen, as Swifties would know, is the pop star’s lucky number.
In total, 35,252 people registered to vote through the site on Tuesday, an improvement of 22.5 per cent compared with last year’s campaign. Vote.org states that this year’s National Voter Registration Day was the most successful since 2020, a year that saw now-President Joe Biden face off against then-incumbent Donald Trump in a highly contentious election.
This year’s voter registration numbers were helped in part by surging interest among young people. Compared with last year’s drive, there was a 115 per cent increase in 18-year-olds registering to vote.
“Time and time again young people are showing up and demonstrating they care about their rights and access to the ballot box,” Hailey said.
In a tweet, Hailey added: “Wanna know something even more wild? We see an 849% increase here compared to 2021. 849%! This generation’s eagerness to participate is a game changer. They are the future, and their energy will shape the outcomes of upcoming elections.”
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Vote.org says it is “seizing on this momentum” to announce plans to register eight million voters before Americans go to the ballot box in 2024.
“We’ve already launched our registration program with our youth efforts across campuses, influencer engagement, radio, digital, social media and direct voter contacts. The 2024 election is already here, and now, it’s time to turn this enthusiasm into votes,” Hailey said.
Until recently, Swift was famously reticent to discuss political issues in public. That all changed in 2018 when she came out in support of Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, while slamming his Republican opponent Marsha Blackburn on her track record with LGBTQ2+ and women’s rights.
“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now,” Swift wrote at the time. Blackburn went on to win the Senate election.
In 2020, Swift endorsed Biden and Kamala Harris’ campaign, saying at the time that she believed America “has a chance to start the healing process it so desperately needs,” under their leadership.
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