WASHINGTON - October 4 - With the 2006 voter registration deadlines quickly approaching, Rock the Vote, a nonpartisan political organization for young people, today announced that voters can now register to vote online through Facebook®, the Internet’s leading social utility.
“A friend’s suggestion is proven to be the most effective way to increase turn out among young voters. Rock the Vote today launched an innovative way to make this personal contact happen through the Internet on Facebook,” explains Hans Riemer, political director of Rock the Vote. “Peer-to-peer contact is the most powerful force in politics and we are excited about giving young people the tools to get involved and engage their generation online.”
Rock the Vote’s online registration expertise extends Facebook’s Election 2006 network, which was launched last month to increase the political voice of Facebook users. The “We Will Rock the Vote” page gives Facebook users a way to easily become part of the election process whether they are registering to vote for the first time or changing their address because they have moved. Young people can also encourage their friends to fill out a voter registration form through the Rock the Vote page on Facebook.
The Rock the Vote registration program on Facebook is part of a nationwide, nonpartisan effort by fourteen partner organizations to register 350,000 young voters in 2006, coordinated by Young Voter Strategies, a nonpartisan project at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
“Once young people are registered to vote, it is easy for campaigns and candidates to target and turn them out to the polls, explains Heather Smith, director of Young Voter Strategies (YVS). “According to our recent survey of voters ages 18-30, young adults are paying attention, but are not hearing enough from candidates on any of their top issues.” Young Voter Strategies will release a study of its 2006 programs, providing best practices for political professionals and nonprofits leading into 2008.
Riemer said, “Generation Y is increasingly politically active and on track to be nearly a third of the electorate by 2015. Taking peer-to-peer contact online can have major implications on the engagement of this Internet generation and on the face of the electorate. We’re excited to help Facebook users Rock the Vote in 2006.”
Rock the Vote is a Los Angeles based non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to building political power for young people. With thousands of young volunteers across the country and support from leaders and stars of the entertainment industry, Rock the Vote is a proven force for engaging young people in the political process. In 2004, Rock the Vote registered 1.4 million voters, including 1.2 million through the Internet; hosted a presidential candidates debate in the Democratic primary with CNN; and helped spark a huge increase in youth voter turnout.
Young Voter Strategies, a project of the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University, with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, is a nonpartisan, nonprofits organization that provides the public, parties, candidates, consultants, and nonprofits with data on the youth vote and tools to effectively mobilize this electorate for upcoming elections. We are committed to making the targeting of young voters a more permanent part of electoral strategies.
For more information on Young Voter Strategies, visit www.youngvoterstrategies.org
For more information on Rock the Vote, visit www.rockthevote.com
Founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook helps people better understand the world around them by developing technologies that facilitate the spread of information through social networks. The site has more than 9.5 million registered users in over 40,000 geographic, work-related, collegiate, and high school networks, and according to comScore’s MediaMetrix report, ranks as the seventh-most trafficked site in the United States. Facebook is privately held and headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif.