Arizona election official credits Taylor Swift for late surge in registration
PHOENIX – Who’s responsible for a surge in voter registration before Arizona’s deadline?
One election official is giving credit to a certain singer who waded into the political arena over the weekend.
According to a tweet Wednesday by Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, nearly as many Arizonans registered to vote online Monday and Tuesday as in the whole month of September.
Matt Roberts of the Arizona Secretary of State’s office said nearly 41,000 people had registration transactions Tuesday as the midnight deadline loomed.
That is more than twice as many people using the web portal to register than were logged on the 2016 general election registration deadline.
Another 17,000 transactions were logged on Monday.
Tuesday was the last day to register in the state and be eligible to vote in the Nov. 6 midterm election, and early voting began Wednesday.
In his tweet, Fontes placed the “blame” on Taylor Swift for encouraging people to register.
On Sunday, the notoriously apolitical superstar urged her 112 million Instagram to register and voiced her support for two Democratic congressional candidates in her home state of Tennessee, Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House.
“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, 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 wrote.
She singled out young voters in her lengthy post.
Fontes isn’t alone in thinking the singer was responsible for a registration surge.
CNBC reported that, according to Vote.org, more than 102,000 Americans registered between Swift’s tweet and Tuesday afternoon — about 70 percent of which came from voters below the age of 25.
“Taylor’s post has helped bring out young voters,” Vote.org, a nonprofit group dedicated to increasing political engagement, told CNBC in a statement. “We’re especially happy to see that because we know voting is habit-forming.”
But Roberts said most transactions were likely people updating their registrations. Typically, about 70 to 80 percent of the last-minute transactions are updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.