Projects encourage young voters to register

By Jessica Kalin

New techniques are being used to entice a generation of 18-24-year-olds to vote.

Music for America uses concerts to register voters, MTV uses Rock the Vote while the Web site advocates sex as an incentive to vote.

Music for America holds concerts and cultural events to involve young people in politics and register them to vote.

Dan Droller, head of artist relations, said Music for America has registered 20,000 young voters during the 3,000 events it’s held.

“We wanted to tell them to vote and give them a reason to vote,” Droller said.

Droller said young voters are often ignored and then become disinterested in voting – it’s a matter of bringing issues down to where young voters can relate.

“[Young voters] are what can and will swing the vote,” he said.

Web sites like ask young people to take a pledge, have sex and go to the polls.

“Putting together parties or music events is ok, but things like Votergasm sound counterproductive,” said Brendon Swedlow, an NIU political science associate professor.

Swedlow said 18-24 year olds who are not involved with politics may see Web sites such as Votergasm as a reflection of politics.

Lines of students formed at Project Vote tables in the Holmes Student Center Tuesday as they registered on the last day.

The organization registered 1,400 students, primarily between the ages of 18 and 10 during the past three weeks, said Steven Guzior, a junior electrical engineering major.