Politics is a game of addition. Yet, the passage of time guarantees only subtraction. Our client came to us and asked a simple but difficult question, “How can we register 1,000,000 new voters?”
Registering to vote is a simple process. Getting someone who has lost faith in the electoral system to register to vote is a much more difficult task.
First, we had to find out who can persuade an unregistered voter to join the ranks of registered voters. What we found was both simple and disappointing to our client. Asking an unregistered voter to join a political party is a non-starter. The unregistered have no affiliation by design. “Come join our political party” had been the registration message for decades, but it was not a message that resonated with unregistered voters.
So, what would cause an unregistered voter to join up with those of us already eligible for jury duty? Our research revealed that only a respected peer could effectively convince a person to register.
We designed the “Be My Vote Campaign.”
We targeted the 30 million unregistered Christian Americans and, as our muscle, we used the hordes of teenagers from across that country that were itching to get involved. These teens were too young to vote, but they could serve as effective spokespeople to persuade those who were over 18 years of age to register.
We gave each young person who volunteered a list of ten people who lived near them. The young person could approach them and explain how important the problems that face our country were to their future and ask his or her neighbor to register and to “Be My Vote.”
The peer-to-peer pitch was the only possible way, but how would we identify the young volunteers we needed? The answer was simple. NASCAR and Contemporary Christian Music.
We sponsored a NASCAR driver as a spokesman and sponsored his car. We also sponsored the largest attended music concert tour in America, Winter Jam, a nationwide tour of Contemporary Christian artists.
The tour visited 43 filled-to-capacity arenas, and every night, we appealed to the young people in attendance to get involved and fight to change their country.
In just three months, more than 100,000 teens signed up. Our program had turned into a movement, and in the end, over 1.1 million new Christian voters were added to voter rolls across the country.