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By Ludwig Hurtado
Ariana Grand's 29-state "Sweetener" offer a voter registration initiative at each stop, making her the latest superstar to try and motivate concert guests for the ballot.
The pop singer debuted the #thankunextgen, a game on her hit song "Thanks Next" during the March 18 show in Albany, New York, in partnership with a nonpartisan, nonprofit musician working organization to help register voters at concerts. She also promoted the campaign on Instagram, where she is the most sought-after woman with 148 million followers.
Sam Hardy, a HeadCount volunteer at the Grande's concert on March 20 at TD Garden in Boston, said she signed up because she is passionate about music but even more passionate about civic engagement.
Hardy, studying political science at Fordham University, approached fans waiting to buy goods to ask them if they were registered to vote.
In Massachusetts, citizens can sign up to vote for 16. Hardy said she spoke to fans as young as 12 and 13, who were thrilled to get involved in the political process – and then she asked them to to make a voter registration mortgage.
Fans making a promise are added to the HeadCount's system, which according to their state's law would send them an email on their 16 or 18th birthday and instruct them on how to register to vote.
Aaron Ghitelman, Communications Manager at H eadCount, said Grande's campaign aimed at actively engaging a younger generation in politics.
"You don't have to be 18 to call your elected officials. Thirteen year olds can do that," he said.
"Don't just call your lawyer. Be your legislator," said Ghitelman, adding that the # thankunextgen campaign will also provide resource guides to allow more women and youth to run to the office.
Grande is not the first musician to attempt to mobilize their massive successor. In 2016, the Grammy Award winner Cooperated the Chance the Rapper with the NAACP to register voters at his US concerts with a campaign called "Stay Woke And Vote."
Last year, HeadCount volunteers on each American stop of Beyoncé and Jay-Z's "On The Run II Tour" who record fans to vote in time for the mid-term elections in 2018. Pop star Taylor Swift broke his silence on politics around a month before the election and went to Instagram to approve two Democrats in Tennessee and urged her fans to sign up to vote. Vote.org reported an increase in registrations, especially among young people, within days of her post.
"Artists will use the platform to help their fans change the world," Ghitelman said.