As HeadCount executive director Andy Bernstein likes to say, National Voter Registration Day is like HeadCount’s Super Bowl. In honor of this pivotal day for engaging voters, the non-profit organization has a variety of music-focused campaigns to help realize its goal of driving participation in the upcoming elections.
As it has done since its inception in 2004, HeadCount has partnered with artists and other entities across the music industry spectrum to harness the power of music to get out the vote. As you scroll through social media today, Tuesday, September 22nd, you’ll see “VOTE” photos and messages posted by more than 300 notable musicians—from Trey Anastasio to Billie Eilish, John Mayer to Herbie Hancock, Bob Weir to Kesha—wearing “VOTE” gear and holding signs reminding their fans to register and participate. You can follow the campaign at @HeadCountOrg on social media. Anastasio even hit the beach and recorded a little “Vote” ditty just for the occasion:
“Even in difficult times for the music industry, everyone seems to recognize the gravity of this election and wants to contribute,” said concert promoter Peter Shapiro, who serves as chair of HeadCount’s board of directors.
Shapiro’s various Brooklyn Bowl locations are among the many concert halls across America putting ‘Register to Vote’ messages on their marquees. Live Nation Entertainment venues such as The Wiltern in Los Angeles are also sharing messages of support as part of the company’s larger voter engagement activities including utilizing many venues as polling places. AEG Presents venues and members of the nascent National Independent Venue Association are also adding ‘Register to Vote at HeadCount.org’ messages to their marquees.
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Today is #NationalVoterRegistrationDay. Before you exercise your right to vote, you must first be registered. Take this perfect opportunity to register to vote or update your voter registration. Visit HeadCount.org to make sure you’re #VoteReady. Your voice. Your vote. Your power. ✔️🗳️📸: Dino Perrucci #nationalvoterregistrationday #thefutureisvoting #justvote
The best way to get elected officials to support live music and the arts, is for citizens who support live music and the arts to VOTE. The path to #SaveOurStages runs through the voting booth. Visit https://t.co/nxeIPvSfqo today, to register to vote or check your status. pic.twitter.com/ZxpBKUFIZA
— National Independent Venue Association (@nivassoc) September 22, 2020
HeadCount’s National Voter Registration Day efforts don’t end there. Today, Dave Matthews Band will revive their DMB Drive-In webcast series for a special livestream featuring messages and information about voting along with an archival performance from 2019. Matthews is also taking part in HeadCount and Global Citizen‘s “Just Vote” initiative along with artists like DJ Khaled, Julianne Hough, Lenny Kravitz, Bob Weir, Billie Eilish, Meghan Trainor, Taylor Swift, Usher, and more.
The non-partisan “Just Vote” campaign aims to engage one million young voters and get 50,000 young people registered ahead of the 2020 elections by offering the chance to win exclusive experiences, artist interactions, and memorabilia to fans who check their voter registration status here.
Atlantic Records artist Wallows will offer a free download of a previously unreleased song to anyone who checks their voter registration status today on National Voter Registration Day. Atlantic labelmate Why Don’t We also surprised fans last week by unveiling a ‘Why Don’t We Vote’ mural on Melrose Place.
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Other HeadCount music industry partners Spotify, SoundCloud, The GRAMMY’s, Rhino Records, and Eventbrite all have special online voter registration hubs powered by HeadCount, which they’ll be promoting heavily on Tuesday.
HeadCount will also stage 40 in-person voter registration drives throughout the week, at locations ranging from record stores to community centers to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Norfolk, VA. In most election years, HeadCount runs as many as 2,500 on-site voter registration drives at concerts and events. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the organization to pivot to a mostly digital approach. That, however, led to innovation and a record-breaking summer where online voter registration totals shot up ten times compared to 2016. The National Voter Registration Day efforts are expected to lift HeadCount past its goal of registering 200,000 voters for the 2020 election.
Make sure you stay up-to-date on your state’s election information. You can check out your state’s Voter Info Hub to see your voter registration deadlines, early voting dates, and how to apply for an absentee/mail-in ballot.
…and last but not least, keep an eye out for another exciting announcement from HeadCount and Live For Live Music later this week.