Have you voted yet?
The 2020 election is upon us and encouraging voters is a key issue across America.
As of press time, nearly 82 million Americans have gone to the polls early, according to ABC News. But Nov. 3 is election day and thus the last time to cast your ballots.
Billboard asked artists and executives about the importance of voting this year.
Fabio Acosta, founder, Vibras Lab: “This marks the first time that Latinos will be the largest racial or ethnic minority in the electorate. With almost 32 million eligible voters, Latinos have been given the opportunity to choose leaders that fight for our interests. Simply put, the election in November is important because every vote counts, especially the Latino vote.”
Phoebe Bridgers: “Obviously, please, God, for the love of God and f—ing democracy, vote. But a more nuanced thing that is really important is just, find a way — especially as white people in America — if there’s a way to sniff out and destroy voter suppression, see how you can get involved on the local level. I think that’s the big issue. “They” don’t want you to f—ing vote. So just make sure that if you are doing vote-by-mail, make sure that you’re doing it on time, because you’re set up to fail. And if you’re able, I am definitely going to be voting in person to leave room for people who really need it to vote by mail. I didn’t memorize my social security number until I was like, in my twenties. I’m the least organized person when it comes to car insurance and all this stuff. If I didn’t have a suburban mom on my ass all the time making sure that I had my registration and everything filled out, I would probably have not been registered to vote when I was 18. My mom was totally at my ass about it. So I think, be that person for your friends, and help where you can, because it’s complicated on purpose.”
Henry Cárdenas, founder/CEO, Cárdenas Marketing Network: “Young Latinos are particularly vocal nowadays. But to continue this progress in our country, we need to go out there and vote. Just recently, we saw Bad Bunny registering to vote in Puerto Rico and [asking] his fans to do the same.”
Mary Chapin Carpenter: “Why vote? Here are just a few of the issues that will be impacted by your decision whether or not to cast your ballot: the environment, health care, the economy, social justice, human rights…the future of all of us. Do it for yourself and those you love. Voting is not only a privilege but a duty.”
Brandy Clark: “Voting is one of the key freedoms in American life. Many people in countries around the world do not have that freedom, nor did many Americans in the past. So if we want to keep this freedom, we ALL need to VOTE.”
Daya: “It’s insanely important that people in PA, and especially young people, get out and vote. Especially because young people didn’t turn out in huge numbers in 2016. I hope that my people do what’s right.”
DJ Khaled: “Everybody go vote. Young world go vote. It’s so important. Last time, I felt like this was when Obama was coming in the game and it made me go vote. I’m blessed to use my platform to encourage people to go vote. It’s important. If you love your family, your kids, your friends and you love the world … we live in, you know, go vote. If you care about your happiness, go vote. This is the time to do it. Look what we’re going through … we have an opportunity to find the way to bring the light … We can’t be lazy.”
Lindsay Ell: “One of the most important things we can do is share our voice. In order to create lasting change and help us build towards a better future, we must first educate ourselves and then act on what we believe. Every voice matters. Let your voice be heard — and vote.“
Daryl Friedman, Chief Advocacy Officer, Recording Academy: “With the race for the White House dominating the news, it’s easy to forget that music makers lives will be most impacted by what happens in Congress. Creators must make their voices heard and send legislators to DC who understand the precarious situation for music caused by the pandemic – and have the empathy and courage to save American music jobs.”
Alex Gallardo, president Sony Music, US Latin: “It’s important for the Latin community to see itself reflected as a segment that is no longer a minority. Whatever the administration may be, they need to be given their place.”
Halsey: “Vote!!!!! Vote vote vote. Vote early if possible, and if you’re going to vote in person on election day, make sure you have a plan in place for how to do so safely. It’s so cool to see a lot of my fans getting ready to vote for the first time in their lives. The youth will make or break this election and I have faith that they want to see a better life for themselves and this country.”
Ikaya: “You have the voice to change the nation and being silent won’t help. You have to get out there and let your voice be heard because you can’t wait until after — you’ll be complaining about issues when you did not go out and vote.”
Rebeca Leon, CEO Lionfish Entertainment: “Every election is important. You have to vote. You have to participate in the process. What I don’t think we should continue to do is spend 30 hours a day criticizing our system and then not show up to vote. How do you change? You register, and you vote. And not just in this election. You vote every two years. If you don’t vote you can’t complain.”
Sergio Lizarraga, president/CEO Lizos Music: “You’re not only deciding the future of the U.S. but the future of the world.”
Sarah Lorentzen, executive assistant/A&R, RCA Records: “We’re in a really strange yet opportune time to rally around and amplify voices that are often times overlooked. There is a duty to use our vote as a way stand beside marginalized communities and reimagine a country that is just, inclusive, and compassionate. As a young, black woman, myself and those who look like me will be deeply affected by the outcome of this election. We have to vote like lives depend on it because they truly do.”
Gabriela Martinez, svp of marketing, Warner Music Latin America & general manager, Warner Music Latina: “It’s important because our main values as ethical human beings are being challenged; we need to reflect on who we want to be as a society.”
Harvey Mason JR., Chair & interim president/CEO, Recording Academy: “Throughout history, we’ve been reminded that nothing drives change more than being informed and active members of our communities. We’ve absolutely experienced this in the past year at the Recording Academy as we’ve helped our constituents navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and worked to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of all that we do. As we narrow in on the upcoming election, it’s clear that the future of our industry, and how it recovers from the effects of the pandemic, lies in our hands. This is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history and our votes have the power to influence exactly how our industry will move forward.”
The Vamps’ James McVey: “Regardless of which way you lean politically, I can’t stress how important it is to vote. Without getting all preachy, the right to vote is something many take for granted. For centuries people have died to gain this right and so many still do not benefit from having it. Please, please… Please vote.”
Ignacio Meyer, svp entertainment and music, Univision: “This year for the first time in history Latinos are the largest minority with eligible voters, so we must make sure to make our voices heard.”
Nelson Montalvo, CEO La Buena Fortuna Global: “This November, more than ever I feel people have the future of our society, and of humankind, on our hands. Although it has always been our responsibility, this one is particular due to the terrible government we have had the last few years, and the constant search for better living conditions which politicians always promise and rarely comply. With social justice, economic growth, equality, global warming all on the table… our future is really riding on this one.”
Nelly: “I think it’s very important that we all get out and vote, [that] we all use our voices. If you’re complaining about what’s going on and you’re not getting out using your voice, then, I mean, you have nothing to complain about. It’s very important that everybody get out there and make their vote count.”
Cassadee Pope: “I like to think of my vote as a ripple. And if enough people like me vote for the same things, we can create incredibly strong waves that can change the course of our nation’s history. Never think that your voice doesn’t matter. It’s essential.”
Wallows’ Cole Preston: “Cast your vote! If this is your 10th election or your 1st election, VOTE! It matters. Don’t let anybody tell you it doesn’t. Our country needs it more than ever.”
AJ “El Kallejero” Ramos, artist relations manager, YouTube Music: “Change begins with us, and things can get so much worse if we don’t vote. This country was built on immigrants. We need to show the power and unity of Black and brown communities.”
Phillipa Soo: “There’s so much at stake right now. It’s so important to vote. It’s so important to vote and remember that your vote is your power. People wouldn’t be making it so hard for you to vote if it wasn’t important. It’s our civic duty. As American citizens, we have to show up and let our opinions be heard. If you think politics doesn’t affect you, you’re wrong. If you have a kid in school, if you’re a college student, if you’re a human on this planet, if you care about the environment, this directly affects you. So you need to get out there. You need to make your voice heard, make a plan, get your family on board. Do the homework. Do the research. Educate yourself. Get yourself prepared to make some decisions and show up on voting day and fill in some bubbles. It’s really important.”
Michel Vega, CEO Magnus Media: “Our entire democracy is in jeopardy like never before in our lifetimes.”
Afo Verde, Chairman/CEO Sony Music Latin Iberia: “It would be unacceptable for someone not to vote. Personally, this is my first election as a citizen, and I’m registered and ready.”
Carolyn Williams, EVP marketing, RCA Records: “Now more than ever, underrepresented groups need to know how important their voice is, not just in this general election, but in their local communities as well. There is power in their vote and the most important thing we can do is to continue to educate people on how to exercise that power.”
Anna Chan, Tatiana Cirisano, Leila Cobo, Stephen Daw, Griselda Flores, Gab Ginsberg, Paul Grein, Carl Lamarre, Joe Levy, Melinda Newman, Jessica Roiz, Jordyn Rolling, and Nick Williams contributed to this piece.