Taylor Swift making a rare political statement has apparently inspired a big surge in voter registrations — and luckily Vote.org was ready for it.
According to The Washington Post, more than 105,000 new people registered on the site to vote within 48 hours of Swift’s post. By comparison, the site registered 56,669 new voters registered the entire month of August and 190,178 in September.
On Sunday, the singer endorsed Democrats Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper in her home state of Tennessee in an Instagram post to her 112 million followers. The move broke with Swift’s usual tight-lippped stance toward publicly revealing her political beliefs. She also directed her fans to vote.org.
Vote.org spokeswoman Kamari Guthrie told the Post she can’t say for sure yet how much Swift’s message directly affected the spike in registrations, but the website saw a definite jump in traffic in the wake of her Instagram. Tuesday is the deadline for Tennessee (and many other states) to register to vote in the upcoming Nov. 6 election.
“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions,” Swift wrote in an Instagram caption. “But due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.” (Swift appears to be referencing the sexual assault trial in which a local radio DJ was convicted of groping her at a meet-and-greet event). “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 … 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.”
President Trump, naturally, weighed in on the matter: “I’m sure Taylor Swift doesn’t know anything about [Blackburn]. Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now, okay?”