Commentary

Every election is a winding road

Per a visit to their site earlier this year, one of my e-mail accounts receives the occasional mailing from the folks at Rock the Vote.

Musicians. Politics. Involvement. Etc. I'm sure this audience is well aware of RtV's purpose and history. Any effort to involve youth in politics is a great effort in my book.

This afternoon's e-mail included quite the bonus for some music fans: free music. Behold the e-mail below.

Dear David,

Today Rock the Vote and I are launching a national voter registration drive.

Just for being a part of this incredible organization and making the youth vote movement what it is today, I am giving you a free copy of my new single Gasoline.*

But that's not all... There are such critical issues facing our country, from high gas prices to climate change, that we need to do more than just register to vote, we need to get our friends registered too. If every Rock the Vote member got three friends to register... now that would be an unstoppable political force. So, the first 50,000 of you to get 3 friends to register to vote, I will give you a copy of my new album Detours for free. The entire album.

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Click here to get your free song and to send a message to your friends, asking them to register to vote.

I have been involved with Rock the Vote since its inception, and am proud of the work that you all have done. But now is such a crucial time in our country's history, that I am doing all I can and hope you will too. This is our moment to seize our power regarding the future of our nation and what it stands for. This is our time to Rock the Vote together.

Good luck and enjoy the music.

-Sheryl Crow

Cool. Free music. I'm not the largest fan of Sheryl, but I appreciate the effort for sure.

After diving into the site for the purpose of this blog, I found myself in a twisting maze of registration forms and large Web 2.0 images. Even to get the free song you have to register as part of Crow's particular voting registration drive.

Ironic to me: That's a lot of effort to ask of people who are already being targeted for the apathy to register to vote.

I don't mean to complain about free stuff, but the very appearance of the site and its maze of "click here" links is as frightening and mind-boggling as the Electoral College process. True, for the average youth there's a little more drive to register for free music than to vote, but is it enough of a treat to keep their mouses pointed at the site for a while? We'll see just how long supplies last.

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