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Rock the Vote Aims to Empower Young Voters

  • Kambiz Hosseini

As Election Day nears, groups and organizations across the country are doing everything they can to encourage people to vote. One such organization is Rock the Vote, which uses music and celebrities to encourage the youth of America to vote. VOA's Kambiz Hosseini has the story. Brian Allen narrates.

What is Rock the Vote?

Rock the Vote is a voter registration organization that uses music, popular culture and new technologies to engage and incite young people to register and vote so their voices can be heard.

There are 45 million voters between the ages of 18 and 29 in the U.S. New research shows that by 2015, this age group will make up one-third of the electorate.

Stephanie Young, a spokesperson for Rock the Vote, says "We want to give young people political power, and we do that by one, registering them to vote; two, empowering them through information and education on the voting process; three, giving them information on the candidates," she said.

Rock the Vote's primary tool to reach youngsters is the Internet. They use their own website as well as social networking sites like Facebook. Additionally, the organizations works with music artists to grab the attention of young people, and engage them in building a political movement.

Background on the organization
Rock the Vote was also the first organization to introduce telephone voter registration as well as online voter registration, and has run the largest young voter registration drives on record during the last four presidential elections.

Today, the group represents the historic 18-year intersection of music and politics, reenergized by the recent integration with Young Voter Strategies, a research-based organization that provids grassroots organizations and campaigns with resources and best practices for mobilizing young voters.

And after nearly two decades, Rock the Vote still has only one focus: Encouraging young people to vote.

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