Political pop stars are doing their part in the forthcoming midterm elections by partnering with the non-profit voter registration organization HeadCount to boost voter turnout. The organization has reportedly registered more than 150,000 voters this year thanks to key campaigns with Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Megan Thee Stallion, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Panic! At The Disco, David Byrne, Anderson .Paak, Tinashe, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews Band, Dead & Company, Paramore, and more.
“We’re joined at the hip with the music industry,” executive director Andrew Bernstein shared in a statement. One of their latest partnerships incentivized pop fans to register to vote and check their registration status for a chance to win tickets to Harryween, the Halloween concert extravaganza Styles is hosting in Los Angeles this year.
“In 2020, 78% of the people that HeadCount registered turned out to vote, so we know these artist partnerships are effective,” HeadCount’s co-founder and executive director Andy Bernstein told Billboard. “Having the support of individuals like Harry Styles has a tremendous impact.”
With 150,000 registered voters, HeadCount reached a new milestone, raising their previous count from 89,0000 for a midterm election. Bernstein wanted particular attention paid to registration status ahead of the midterms to avoid young voters showing up to vote under the assumption that they’ve already registered, only to find out at the polls that they haven’t.
“I’m working with HeadCount to encourage everyone to show up at the polls and use their voice during these midterm elections,” Eilish shared in a statement when she partnered with the organization earlier this year. “With what is going on in our country, we need to get out to the polls and vote for what we believe in. Not showing up is not an option.”
Commenting on the reluctance some artists may show towards taking a strong political stance, Bernstein told Variety: “Lots of artists want to get their fans out to vote, but don’t want to get into the partisan divide. But it’s dangerous to assume that democracy will prevail — there are real systemic challenges to how elections work. The whole system is in jeopardy — fair elections take effort.”
In a statement, Ariana Grande expanded on the importance of using the platform she and her peers share to amplify information about voting. “The candidates and measures being voted on for the midterm elections have the power to impact millions of lives – and impact issues like access to abortion care, how we respond to climate change, the rights of trans youth, and more,” she said. “I encourage everyone to get ready for the upcoming elections by checking their voter registration status or registering to vote through resources like HeadCount. If all of us vote and encourage all of our loved ones to vote with us, we will truly be able to create a change.”