There’s no ‘shaking off’ Taylor Swift’s effect on voter registration

By By John L. Micek, The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, Pa.

Taylor Swift finally broke her silence on political issues over the weekend, and a surge of new voter registrations followed in her wake.

There were 65,000 new registrations nationwide in the 24 hours after Swift, 28, told her 112 million Instagram followers that she was supporting two Democratic candidates running in her home state of Tennessee, and urged them to become politically active themselves, a spokeswoman for Vote.org told Buzzfeed News.

The T.Swift Effect was slightly harder to gauge in Pennsylvania, where residents had until close of business on Tuesday to register to vote in the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

Since Saturday, 49,646 people had accessed the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website, spokeswoman Wanda Murren told PennLive on Tuesday.

That tally includes new registrants, as well as people who might have been updating their voting information for one reason or another, Murren said.

Swfit’s announcement had a more measurable effect in Tennessee, according Vote.org. Of the 5,183 new registrations in the Volunteer State this month, at least 2,144 came after Swift posted her statement to Instagram, BuzzFeed reported.

Here’s a bit more on the after-effects of Swift’s decision to break her long-held silence on political matters.

“Swift focused her post on the Senate race in Tennessee, where she is registered to vote. She stated that although she had previously voted for women in office, she felt unable to support the Republican Senate candidate, Marsha Blackburn. “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” she said, adding that she would be voting for the Democratic candidates Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives.

“In her post, Swift affirmed her commitment to the fight for LGBTQ rights and described the “systemic racism” towards people of colour in the US as “terrifying, sickening and prevalent”. She encouraged her young fans to educate themselves on their local candidates and “vote based on who most closely represents your values.”

Swift’s public statements earned her scorn from corners of the internet that harbored the hope, without documentary evidence, that she was a political conservative.

President Donald Trump also criticized the singer, saying Monday that “Marsha Blackburn is doing a very good job in Tennessee. She’s leading now substantially, which she should. She’s a tremendous woman. I’m sure Taylor Swift doesn’t know anything about her. Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now, OK?”

Kamari Guthrie, of Vote.Org, told BuzzFeed that the site had seen an increase in its own traffic since Swift’s post. The tally of 155,940 unique visitors was second only to the people who visited the site on National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25, where there were 304,942 unique visitors, BuzzFeed reported. The site’s average daily user count this year is 14,078.

“Thank God for Taylor Swift,” Guthrie told BuzzFeed.

This article provided by NewsEdge.