Bad news for procrastinators: Registration deadlines to vote in the 2020 presidential election are arriving this week for large swaths of the country. According to the nonprofit group HeadCount, federal mail-in registration deadlines for a dozen states are Monday, October 5, with more deadlines to come throughout the week.
Andy Bernstein, HeadCount’s cofounder, says his teams have been working overtime to remind people that the time to register is now. Although the nonpartisan group—backed by the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir—is known for using celebrity star power to activate voters at concerts and other live events, HeadCount has been forced to pivot during the coronavirus pandemic, doubling down on digital methods like peer-to-peer texting and influencer-driven social media campaigns.
“We’re doing everything digital that we can imagine and trying to have every possible touchpoint,” Bernstein tells Fast Company.
That includes partnering with pop stars like Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish, who have been using their massive social media platforms to activate voters and remind them to check to see if they’re registered. (Bernstein says anywhere from 5% to 50% of voters go on to register when they find out they’re not registered already.) Last week, when YouTube influencer David Dobrik said he would give away five free Tesla vehicles to people who shared the registration link to their Instagram stories, some 20,000 people registered within the first two hours, HeadCount says.
While HeadCount didn’t get to go on the road with Green Day, Harry Styles, and the Dave Matthews Band like it planned to this year, pivoting to digital has paid off in terms of raw numbers: So far for the 2020 election cycle, the group has registered an impressive 300,000 voters. That’s almost twice as many as the number it registered in the 2016 election.
Expect even more in the days and weeks ahead. “With online voter registration, it’s generally a late phenomenon,” Bernstein says. “Most years, about half of what comes in comes in between the last week of September and the first week of October—that’s when most people wait to the last minute.”
To find the registration dates for your state, visit HeadCount’s list. And as a reminder, below is a list of states where the registration deadlines are coming up this week.
- Monday, October 5: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas
- Tuesday, October 6: Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico
- Wednesday, October 7: Missouri
- Friday, October 9: Idaho, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma
Now go register!