Rock the Vote launches #TurnOutForWhat video challenge

GLAAD is partnering with Rock the Vote to ask what you are going to "turn out" for on Election Day. Following the group's recent video's viral success, Rock the Vote just announced a new way to take action and get invovled in the upcoming 2014 Midterm Elections on November 4th. Here's how you can do it:

  • Pick the issue you want to turn out for. It can be fun and/or serious.
  • If you can, play the song in the background. It's a party! Turn up the song so people can turn out!
  • Record a clip of yourself using your phone or any camera you have and say this: "I’m [NAME], and I’m turning out for [ISSUE]. I want [FRIEND], [FRIEND], and [FRIEND] to tell me what they are turning out for!”
  • Post it and tag the people you're challenging.
  • Share it on social media with the hashtag #TurnOutForWhat. Rock the Vote will be re-sharing videos on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.
  • Ask people to go to www.TurnOutForWhat.com and add thier names to the list of people who will #TurnOutForWhat

Rock the Vote is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with a mission to build political power for young people. The group fuses pop culture, politics, and technology to reach millennial voters and advocate for an updated political election system for today's generation of voters. Its most recent video, Rock The Vote Presents: #TURNOUTFORWHAT, stars Lil Jon and is based off of his hit single, "Turn Down For What." It has garnered over 4.5 million views and has been featured on shows such as Good Morning America and E! News. The video features "Glee" star Darren Criss turning out for education, "#RichKids of Beverly Hills" openly gay star E.J. Johnson turning out for marriage equality, and Natasha Lyonne from "Orange is the New Black" turning out for prison reform, among various other familiar faces.

While it is important to reach out to get young people to the voting booth, many transgender people do not get to exercise their right to vote. Ashley Spillane, President of Rock the Vote, recently wrote an article published in Mic on the marginalization of transgender Americans in voting, which can often be tied to strict photo ID laws that bar transgender people who do not have identification reflecting their gender identity. Ashley wrote:

According to a recent study by The Williams Institute, more than 24,000 transgender voters in 10 states face substantial challenges in their efforts to exercise their right to vote. Voter ID laws in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin require transgender individuals to present government-issued photo ID at the polls in order to cast their ballot...

Alarming statistics show that many transgender voters associate the voting process with fear and anxiety, not empowerment and democratic agency. Transgender voters hoping to cast their ballots are often met with resistance and pervasive judgment at the polls. Forty-one percent of National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) respondents reported being harassed when presenting gender-inaccurate ID, while 15% of respondents were asked to leave the venue altogether. A small percentage of respondents (3%) even reported being physically attacked at the polls, simply for showing up.

GLAAD has partnered with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), an advocacy organization with a mission to protecting the rights and liberties of transgender Americans and released a series of public service announcements as a part of the NCTE's "Voting While Trans" campaign to inform transgender Americans how they can keep their right to vote. To learn more about this effort, click here.

GLAAD has also partnered with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to publish a guide entitled "In Focus: Faith, LGBT People, & the Midterm Elections" to help the media provide accurate information about LGBT people and faith in the lead up to the 2014 midterm elections. Check out glaad.org/vote for more.