Vote.org has experienced a tremendous uptick in voter registrations — particularly in the younger demographics — after pop superstar Taylor Swift urged her millions of fans to register in a politically charged Instagram post Sunday.
The organization tallied roughly 65,000 new registrations within the first 24 hours of Swift sharing the post and has racked up more than 169,000 registrations since Sunday. That’s after garnering a total of 190,178 new voters in all of September. Also helping the push has been an Instagram post by another singer, Rihanna, on Monday that encouraged people to vote as well.
“We haven’t seen anything like this,” Vote.org Chief Operating Officer Raven Brooks told the Daily News. “This has been the biggest celebrity impact that we’ve seen.”
The effect was “Swift” among young voters. Of the more than 169,000 people to register with Vote.org since Sunday, more than 102,000 fell within the age range of 18 to 29. It’s a far cry from October 2016, ahead of the presidential election, when the biggest run of new registrations came from people between 30 and 39, followed by older people.
“That’s been completely inverted,” Brooks said.
Swift, 28, had long remained tight-lipped on political matters, but broke her silence over the weekend to share her support for Tennessee U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and House of Representatives incumbent Jim Cooper — both Democrats — in the upcoming election. She also explained why she isn’t onboard with Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn.
“Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking and date rape,” wrote Swift, who hails from Nashville. “She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values.”
The “Look What You Made Me Do” singer went on to encourage people to get out and vote, even beyond Tennessee.
“Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values,” Swift said. “For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway.”
Rihanna, meanwhile, shared a list of voter registration deadlines with Instagram on Monday in an effort to inspire people to get involved.
“You have 1 job today and that is to properly register to vote,” Rihanna wrote. “I don’t care what responsibilities you have today, there’s no greater responsibility than being in control of your future and the future starts NOW!! We don’t have time, no procrastinating, don’t let the discouragement take you off course, that’s not how my people or my generation will go down . . . this is the loudest way to make your voice heard! REGISTER TODAY! Let’s go!!!”
Brooks mentioned Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres and Justin Bieber as other prominent public figures who have made an effort to get their admirers to vote in the past, but none ended up having this sort of impact.
“One thing that (Swift and Rihanna’s) statements have in common is that they’re very authentic,” Brooks said. “It’s not just like tossing a link out to their followers — they’re actually revealing something about themselves. They’re doing it in their voice. It’s kind of clear they wrote it versus some PR staffer they might have managing their social stuff.”
Vote.org was not able to specify the breakdown of how many of the newly registered voters are Republicans or Democrats.