Go Wrock the Vote, Baby!
Today we have a guest blog from someone who volunteered to register voters at a Wrock concert in Seattle this Summer.
Three months ago I signed up to volunteer for the Harry Potter Alliance’s ‘Wizard Rock the Vote’ campaign at the Seattle Harry and the Potters show. I’d followed the wizard rock scene for a few years and it helped me a lot. At this point it felt like a time to give back, and helping voters register didn’t sound like a bad idea, especially considering the upcoming election.
Only by chance did I learn the HPA planned to host ‘Wizard Rock the Vote’ again. By happenstance I looked up the HPA’s website to see what they were doing, and to my surprise, the newest campaign was a re-start of the 2008 Wizard Rock the Vote campaign. I remember seeing Wizard Rock the Vote volunteers at shows the summer before the 2008 election. It sounded like a great cause, but back then I still wanted to go to a show to enjoy it and not divert my attention elsewhere. Now, with the next election and a more laid back attitude to wizard rock shows, volunteering for Wizard Rock the Vote sounded like a good idea. I sent the HPA a message through the campaign’s page and got in contact with Sara, who gave me some before-the-show information.
The day came for the Seattle show, and I arrived early. A second show was added to the program only a few days before because of the unlimited enthusiasm of concert goers–so I knew a long night was ahead of me. After arriving, I met Paul and Joe DeGeorge, the puppeteers of Harry Potter Puppet Pals, and Hank Green. Paul gave me the resources provided by the Harry Potter Alliance and suggested I act outgoing and go through the line before the show. I read through the resource guide to get a grasp of what to do. Thankfully, registering someone seemed very easy. Name, place of residence, social security number or state ID number, check a few boxes, and a signature and the registration would be filled out.As per Paul’s suggestion, I went outside thirty minutes before the show to find a substantial line had formed. The first few people in line dressed in wizard garb and others down the line wore their interpretations of the Hogwarts uniform. Some wore Harry and the Potters or Vlogbrothers shirts. I went to the first few groups and asked if everyone was registered. Most of them were under eighteen or already registered, but a few groups in I got my first eligible, unregistered voter. I gave her my clipboard and a pen. I was quiet and nervous, but asked a few questions to her and her friend about how they were doing, if they were excited, and if they’d been to a show before, as the woman filled out her registration form.
I continued down the line. Everyone was excited and enthusiastic about the show. Most were under eighteen and couldn’t be registered. I just gave them a nice smile and said, “Next time,” or “Make sure you do in a few years.” I met a few Canadians, too, and we mostly talked about wizard rock and Doctor Who.
I registered only a few people during the first show, but I thought it was successful. My friend, Indigo, came to the concert and helped me out as well. Before the concert, Joe came up to us and asked if we wanted to introduce Hank onto the stage. We both said, “Yes!” and later promoted the Harry Potter Alliance and what we were there for. After we got off stage, we went to enjoy the concert and went out between intermissions in case anyone wanted to register.
After the first concert I was pretty confident that I could go up to a person and ask if they wanted to register, so doing it myself wasn’t scary.
The crowd next show was much older, understandable since the show wouldn’t finish until 1 am. I asked the first group, three girls dressed amazingly as Hogwarts students, if they were registered. One girl dressed as Luna wasn’t, so I handed her the clipboard, she filled it out, and just like that we were done. I went down the line, ran into a few old friends, and registered a few more people. One girl told me she had moved and wasn’t sure if we could update that information. Of course we could and we did. Near the end I met a woman and her children, who could not contain their excitement about being there. The woman, probably in her late forties, had never registered–but we fixed that!
Without having someone there to register attendees to vote, I don’t think many of them would have registered. It’s that thing that you’ll eventually get around to, but it’s not a priority. When the Harry Potter Alliance took the initiative to start the campaign, it helped the attendees of the Seattle show and all other shows around America to get around to registering. If you can vote, there is no reason not to. Age or living place isn’t something to stop you. I had a lot of fun registering people to vote and I hope you have a lot of fun actually voting.