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Arizona election official credits Taylor Swift for late surge in registration

(Instagram Photo/Taylor Swift)

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.

View this post on Instagram

I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. 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. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

 

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. 

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