Rock the Vote

Rock the Vote

Rock the Vote
Founded 1990 in Los Angeles[1]
Focus Youth voting, voter registration
Area served
United States
Method Online mobilization, field organizing, entertainment community
Ashley Spillane[2]
Website .comrockthevote

Rock the Vote is a United States whose stated mission is "to engage and build the political power of young people."[3]

The organization was founded in 1990 to encourage young people to vote.[4] It is geared toward increasing voter turnout among voters ages 18 to 24.[5][6] Rock the Vote is known for its celebrity spokespeople and its partnership with MTV.[7]


  • History 1
  • Democracy Class 2
  • Celebrity spokespeople 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 by Virgin Records executive Jeff Ayeroff with the help of Steve Barr, a campaign worker and political fundraiser, Jody Utall and Democratic political strategist Hilary Rosen.[1][8]

Rock the Vote supported the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, commonly referred to as the "motor voter" bill, which expanded access to voter registration. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The law requires state governments to offer voter registration opportunities to any eligible person who applies for or renews a driver's license or public assistance.[9]

In 1996, Rock the Vote created the first telephone voter registration system, 1-800-REGISTER, followed by the first online voter-registration system, NetVote, later that year.[10]

With Faneuil Hall in Boston.[11]

Rock the Vote has expressed support for a public health insurance option.[12] It signed on to Health Care for America NOW!, a progressive political coalition that supported passage of the Affordable Care Act. In 2009, Rock the Vote ran a campaign encouraging people to refuse to have sex with those who oppose health care reform.[13]

During the 2004 presidential election, Rock the Vote drew criticism from Republican Party officials such as Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie for sending a mock draft notice to over 600,000 e-mail addresses. The message included the words "Selective Service System" and read "You are hereby ordered for induction into the Armed Forces of the United States, and to report to a polling place near you" on November 2, (Election Day). The Rock the Vote logo and a facsimile of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's signature appeared at the bottom of the message. In addition, Rock the Vote created public service announcements featuring the subject of the draft.[14][15]

According to the Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

In 2008, Rock the Vote ran the largest non-partisan youth voter registration drive in the nation's history by getting 2.6 million young voters registered.[16]

In advance of the 2014 elections, Rock the Vote released a video titled "Turn Out For What." It was a parody of Lil Jon and DJ Snake's song "Turn Down for What".[17] The video sought to encourage youth voter turnout and featured reproductive rights, marijuana legalization, global warming, LGBT rights, student debt, gun control and deforestation as reasons why young people might want to vote.[18] The video was criticized by some Republicans who said it had a disproportionate representation of liberal issues.[19] The video was also criticized because several of the celebrities who appeared in it, including Lena Dunham, Whoopi Goldberg, Natasha Lyonne and Darren Criss, had not voted in the previous midterm election.[20]

Democracy Class

Rock the Vote: Democracy Class is a program put on by Rock the Vote. It is designed to educate high school students about voting, elections and governance. The nonpartisan lesson plan uses music, pop culture, video, classroom discussion and a mock election to teach young people the skills to navigate the elections process and engage as active citizens.[21][22] On Democracy Day 2011, teachers in all 50 states committed to teaching Democracy Class in more than 1,100 classrooms.[21] High school students in Democracy Classes participate in mobile polls that assess their viewpoints on public policy issues.[23]

Celebrity spokespeople

This is a partial list of celebrities who have appeared in public service announcements for Rock the Vote.


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External links

  • Rock the Vote