Smackdown your vote!


Published: Thursday, April 1, 2004 at 4:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 1, 2004 at 4:17 p.m.

Even wrestlers get in on the voting fun too.

World Wrestling Entertainment sponsors a non-partisan voting and civic engagement initiative for young people.

WWE's Web site features wrestlers explaining the importance of voting. It also has the standard "register to vote," "partners/links" and some news coverage of the group.

Lately, it seems like there are so many organizations advocating the youth vote. At first, I asked: Do we really need that many groups advocating the same thing? And, why don't some of the groups join forces?

Although it seems ridiculous to have dozens of youth-oriented voting groups, I have rationalized it.

NOTE: For a list of youth-oriented voting groups, see the bottom of the post.

Back to my point: Most people, including the youth, have a few key interests, whether it be sports, music, entertainment, arts, etc. If every area has a youth-oriented voting group, many youth are reached and educated.

I could be wrong, but I doubt a WWE fan visits the League of Conservation Voters Web site, registers to vote and becomes an active citizen.

Music fans go to PunkVoter, MusicForAmerica or the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network for voting information. Millions of youth see MTV's Choose or Lose campaign. WWE is no different.

More often young people are just as busy as adults. It's important to identify how they spend their little spare time and target them for interest-specific voting organizations.

But will all these groups actually make a difference on election day?

I hope so. In 2000, only 42 percent of voters age 18-24 went to the polls - that was an all time low since 18-year-olds were allowed to vote.

2004 is different. More young people see foreign policy and the economy (the top two issues in the campaign so far) as impacting their lives.

"Smackdown your vote" is fun to say too. And that's the goal: Get young people to have fun and become civically engaged.

List of youth-oriented voting groups

Smackdown Your Vote (http://smackdownyourvote.com)

MTV.com Choose or Lose (http://mtv.com/chooseorlose/)

Youth Vote Coalition (http://youthvote.org/)

Rock the Vote (http://rockthevote.org/)

PunkVoter (http://punkvoter.com)

Music For America (http://musicforamerica.org)

Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (http://www.hsan.org/)

Democrat National Youth Convention Essay Contest (http://dems2004.org/youthcontest/index.html)

Declare Yourself (http://declareyourself.org/)

Uvote (http://uvote2004.org/)

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