“Perfect weather. Perfect location. A perfect day to sign up and make a difference. Rock the Vote came to the University of Akron on Sept. 24 to reach three goals. Our main goals are to register two million voters this election cycle, get everyone out to the polls on Nov.””
Perfect weather. Perfect location. A perfect day to sign up and make a difference. Rock the Vote came to the University of Akron on Sept. 24 to reach three goals.
Our main goals are to register two million voters this election cycle, get everyone out to the polls on Nov. 4 and really highlight the power of young people in the political process, says Heather Smith, executive director of Rock the Vote.
Rock the Vote is a nonprofit organization that has a mission to register, engage and build political power for young people in hopes that important issues can get adequate attention.
Rock the Vote targets people ages 18 to 29 years-old by traveling across the country.
It is a national program in which a lot of work is done online. We have volunteers in almost every state who are running registration drives and voter education drives.
The bus tour is designed to go into places where we have a lot of youth, where there is a lot of attention being paid to the election and making sure people know they must register in order to vote. And also to make sure they have the information necessary to make informed decisions, states Smith.
Rock the Vote bases the decision of where to travel on a combination of things such as number of young people, the strength of the Rock the Vote’s established membership base as well as where artists are already performing so they can work with musical talent.
Rock the Vote not only travels to colleges, but also community centers, concert venues, downtown and inner city areas. Smith states, We have even gone into small towns and stopped at the diner and even the bowling alley.
Once you are actually at the event, there are a number of different ways to get information.
There are volunteers walking around with information to hand out, and you can also go on the Rock the Vote traveling bus. The computer gives locations of polling places, information about the candidates and also provides a convenient way to register to vote.
Rock the Vote has been around for 18 years, yet this is their first appearance in Akron. The tour started last Saturday and has registered nearly 100,000 voters. Rock the Vote’s total registration for the entire year is a staggering 1.6 million new voters, making it the largest youth voter registration drive in history.
It is held every year, and is always looking for students or anyone interested to get involved beyond just registering to vote.
All you have to do is go to rockthevote.com and click on Take Action. Smith explains, This will allow you to download posters, materials and information to run a registration drive you can also make sure on election day neighbors are showing up to vote and also make sure on election day things are running smoothly at polls.
There are organizers that can be reached to help coordinate these types of things.
Rock the Vote encourages young people to be informed about the decisions they are making before they vote.
There is an Election Center on the Web site with the candidates stances on different issues, what the ballot looks like, who is on the ballot, who you are voting for, what organizations support the candidates and it also gives places where you can find further information.
Smith says, We believe people are savvy and smart and understand their future, and we give them the information to understand and make up their own mind. This organization is pretty unique and one of a kind by using music, technology and popular culture to reach and engage young people and get them to participate, Smith said.
It is important to know the deadline for registration is Oct. 6, and that the Election Day is on Nov. 4.
There is only a little over a week to register.
If you want to make a difference without much effort, vote.