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Rock the Vote

Rock the Vote

Author: Amee Wittbrodt
  • Understand, analyze, evaluate, and use different types of print, digital, and multimodal media.
  • Critically analyze information found in electronic, print, and mass media and use a variety of these sources.
  • Gain an understanding of the history and mission of Rock the Vote.
  • Critique the success of Rock the Vote's mission.
  • Learn how to register to vote and where to go.

This packet presents information about Rock the Vote. Students will learn about the history of the organization, their mission, and current events going forward to the upcoming 2012 election. Students will also learn how to register to vote and where to find a polling place.

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Background Information

Rock the Vote’s mission is to engage and build the political power of young people in order to achieve progressive change in our country. Rock the Vote uses music, popular culture and new technologies to engage and incite young people to register and vote in every election. And we give young people the tools to identify, learn about, and take action on the issues that affect their lives, and leverage their power in the political process. Rock the Vote engages youth in the political process by incorporating the entertainment community and youth culture into its activities. From actors to musicians, comedians to athletes, Rock the Vote harnesses cutting-edge trends and pop culture to make political participation cool.

We are creative, effective, and controlled by nobody’s agenda but our own—we tell it like it is and pride ourselves on being a trusted source for information on politics. We empower the 45 million young people in America who want to step up, claim their voice in the political process, and change the way politics is done. Rock the Vote's work doesn't end when the polls close. We empower young people to create change in their communities and take action on the issues they care about. Regardless of whether youth are signing petitions, running for office, contacting their elected officials, or taking up a sign in protest, they are all rocking the vote.

Over the last two decades, Rock the Vote has registered more young people to vote than any other organization or campaign, and we intend to register and turn out millions more in 2012 – and to be the best-informed place online where young people can find out what they need to know before casting a ballot.

After years of declining participation at the polls, a new generation of young voters has arrived. Millions of new voters between the ages of 18 – 29 cast ballots in 2004, 2006, and 2008. Rock the Vote is dedicated to building the political power and clout of the Millennial Generation by registering and turning out young people, by forcing the candidates to campaign to them, and by making politicians pay attention to youth and the issues they care about once in office.

Our goals:

  • Register, educate, and turnout young voters at record levels to increase voter registration.
  • Educate young people and the political community on the power of young people, and give both communities the tools to take action.
  • Fight for the rights of young people in the voting process and for the issues that affect their lives.

Against Me! Rocks the Vote

Background Information

History of Rock the Vote

Founded nearly twenty years ago in response to a wave of attacks on freedom of speech and artistic expression, Rock the Vote quickly established itself as the premier organization representing the intersection of young people, politics, and popular culture.

Whether it’s Madonna wrapping herself in the flag for the first Rock the Vote PSA or Snoop Dogg launching our bus tour in 2004, Rock the Vote works with artists who really believe in and promote our mission.

Rock the Vote works with artists to grab the attention of young people, and engage them in building a political movement to fight for young people and the issues that affect their lives. Since its inception, Rock the Vote has run innovative and successful voter registration efforts. Rock the Vote was 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 past 4 presidential elections registering, then educating and turning out millions of young voters over the past 18 years.

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

Who Are Young Voters?  Click here to find out more

Young Voter Polling Click here to find out more

Mobilize Young Voters  Click here to find out more

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the overall mission of Rock the Vote?
  2. T/F? Rock the Vote is controlled by nobody's agenda but thier own.
  3. T/F? Rock the Vote believes that young voters really don't matter much.
  4. T/F? Rock the Vote was the first organization to introduce telephone voter registration .
  5. Rock the Vote was founded 20 years ago in response to_______________________.
  6. Which well-known musician made the first Rock the Vote public service announcement?
  7. Approximately how many young people are eligible to vote in the United States today?
  8. "We are the largest generation in history and represent more than one-fifth of the electorate.  We are also the most diverse generation." What is our generation called?
  9. Rock the Vote has been VERY successful in empowering young people and getting them registered to vote. Why? What are they doing right? Explain.
  10. Rock the vote uses the following mediums to communicate their message:Internet Web Site, YouTube, facebook, flickr, myspace, and print ad campaigns In the 21st century, why is it necessary to incorporate all of the above in a successful ad campaign? Explain.
  11. The Results are In-  2008: Young voters made up a larger share of the vote in virtually every primary and caucus on both sides of the aisle. They more than doubled their turnout in the 2008 primaries and caucuses. In Iowa, the number of 18-29 voters jumped 133%.In Georgia, under-30 voters grew by 134%. In Texas, the number of 18-29 voters grew 301%. 2008.  According to these statistics, what type of influence did young people have over the election of 2008?
  12. How can you register to vote?
  13. Were can you go to vote in the next election?