By Emma Taylor
The unusual placement of a red, white and blue tour bus might have drawn your attention to the Pavilion on this past Tuesday, even though the blaring music and voice of Asher Roth might have fascinated you a more.
Not only does Asher Roth love college, but he also loves college students registering to vote. The Rock the Vote tour stopped at the University with the goal of getting students to register to vote for the upcoming November presidential election.
How do Asher Roth and registering to vote relate? The Rock the Vote organization attracts the attention of college students by using music and popular culture to their advantage in order to encourage youth voter participation.
By having live music performances and free giveaways all day, there’s no reason a college student should say no.
The live performance of Asher Roth drew many students out for the event.
Freshman Drew Jones was one of the students who attended for the music, but also supported the cause.
“I got the email about Rock the Vote and saw that Asher Roth was going to be here and I actually really like his music,” Jones says. “I think it’s a good way to encourage people to get out and register to vote.”
Although registering to vote is a fairly simple process, only about half of young adults in the United States do it.
In the 2008 election, between 22 and 24 million young Americans ages 18 to 29 voted, which is between 49.3 and 54.5 percent of this age demographic.
Because this trend is typical for this demographic, Rock the Vote aims to increase the number of those voting. And it seems to be working.
Freshman Thomas DiFazio says, “I think Rock the Vote is pretty great. It encourages young people to come out and register because they generally don’t want to, just out of pure laziness. But Rock the Vote makes it easier and more convenient to get registered.”
Rock the Vote definitely succeeds at reaching their targeted demographic by blasting popular music, hosting DJs, previewing video games and giving away tons of free samples. They offer something nearly all college kids find interesting. This unique combination of entertainment and political involvement creates an informed and enthusiastic young voter.
Michelle Clark, Representative for Rock the Vote, says, “We put ourselves in the world of the demographic—we go to them in order to make it easier for them to register.”
A total of 291 students registered to vote at Tuesday’s event.
Rock the Vote visits approximately 25 colleges between September and October, meaning the University was one of its first stops.
Up until Nov. 6, Rock the Vote will be encouraging students to exercise their 26th Amendment rights and register to vote.