Taylor Swift's Sunday Instagram post rallying her followers to register to vote appears to be paying off, with registrations surging weeks before November's midterm elections.
"You need to register, which is quick and easy to do," Swift told her fans. "October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!"
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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. 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. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support 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. 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. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. 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. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈
Since Swift urged more than 100 million fans to go to Vote.org, Buzzfeed is reporting that a historically high number of people have gone to the site to join the voting rolls. In the 24 hours following Swift's post, Vote.org saw 155,940 unique visitors "against this year's daily average of 14,078."
"We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift's post," Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org, told Buzzfeed.
Buzzfeed noted: "190,178 new voters registered nationwide in the entire month of September, while just 56,669 signed on in August."
Vote.org said Swift's announcement is driving huge numbers of people to sign up to vote.
“Vote.org saw [Tennessee] registrations spike specifically since Taylor's post," Guthrie said. In the 36 hours following Swift's post, Tennessee has seen 2,144 new voter signups. That's compared to 2,811 in the entire month of September, and just 951 in August.
"Thank God for Taylor Swift," said Guthrie.
Social media is really excited, and hopeful, that Swift's voice will resonate with voters.
Swift's efforts are especially notable in her home state of Tennessee, where she endorsed Democrats Phil Breseden for U.S. Senate and Jim Cooper for U.S. House.
Swift slammed Breseden's opponent, Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, whose "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," Swift wrote. "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."
Voter registration in Tennessee ends on Tuesday, so Swift's last-minute push is giving Democrats hope.
Tennessee Democratic Party chair Mary Mancini told Buzzfeed she is thrilled that Swift is using her influence to mobilize people to vote - especially Democrats, who Mancini implied feel underrepresented in deep-red Tennessee.
"To have someone of her stature and with such a large microphone to step up and actually reinforce what we already know here is definitely going to boost the morale of people who have been told Tennesseans are divisive," Mancini said. "Having her come out and say this so publicly will make people sit up and say, ya know what, I’m not alone here."
"It's just confirming of what the state is really like," Mancini added.
Recent polling suggests, however, that Democrats still have an uphill climb in the Volunteer State. As of Monday, Blackburn holds a small but stable lead over Bresenden, the state's former governor.