WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 19, 2001
World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (NYS:WWF) and the other members of the Smackdown Your Vote! voter registration initiative today introduced two new members of its team and the initiative's first Honorary Chairman, WWF Superstar and former Olympic gold medalist, Kurt Angle.
The new members are the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) and Youth e-Vote. NFWL is an open and nonpartisan organization serving federal and state women legislators and supporting effective government. Youth e-Vote is a national coalition of educators, youth groups and technology specialists devoted to making future voters of today's students.
Youth e-Vote is the first national registration and online voting project in American history, providing on-line straw polls for students in the 2000 election.
"Today's announcement should signal that we are committed to getting young people more involved in the political process so that their voices can be heard," said Linda McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (WWFE). "Adding two new well-respected partners is an indication of how many people and organizations believe in this initiative."
For his part, WWF Superstar Kurt Angle is excited to be named the Honorary Chairman for Smackdown Your Vote!
"Smackdown Your Vote! is playing an important role in the effort to get more young people registered to vote and to express their opinions through voting," said Angle. "If the WWF's immense popularity can help motivate more young people to vote, help them to understand they have a voice in the direction of America, then my time and the time of many others in this initiative will be well spent."
Founded in August 2000, Smackdown Your Vote! is a partnership of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations working to encourage young people to get involved in the political process and vote.
The members of Smackdown Your Vote! include the Youth Vote Coalition, Project Vote Smart, the National Association of Secretaries of State, MTV's Choose or Lose, World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. and today's newly announced members, the National Foundation of Women Legislators and Youth e-Vote.
Smackdown Your Vote! helped to register 150,000 new voters in a little more than two months last fall. It provided voting and election information to millions of young people and WWF fans through information on television and online.
Registrations were conducted at WWF events, at WWF New York, the WWF's site-based entertainment complex in New York City's Times Square, and through the Web sites of the Smackdown Your Vote! partners, MTV's Choose or Lose and Rock The Vote.
Smackdown Your Vote! will celebrate its growing partnership at an event this evening at Club Insomnia, 714 6th St, NW in Washington, D.C. between G and H Streets, NW. Tickets will cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 202/432-SEAT or www.ticketmaster.com.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Youth Vote Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of more than 72 organizations devoted to increasing youth involvement in the political process. Special guests include WWF Champion Kurt Angle and WWF Lieutenant Commissioner Debra.
Smackdown Your Vote! Timeline
August 2000 - Youth Vote 2000, Project Vote Smart, MTV's Choose or Lose, and World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. join together to launch the Smackdown Your Vote! voter registration campaign. The campaign targets young people ages 18-30, a group with historically low voter turnout.
The voter registration campaign is unveiled during a press conference featuring The Rock at the Republican National Convention. The Rock and Chyna appear weeks later at the Democratic National Convention, to promote Smackdown Your Vote! and speak about their own experiences in registering to vote.
September 2000 - Smackdown Your Vote! continues to encourage youth voter registration, with onsite voter registration at WWF events across the country and at WWF New York, World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc.'s restaurant and entertainment complex in the heart of Times Square.
In addition, the partnership provides election information through WWFVote.com, and the web sites of all participating partners. Several WWF Superstars appear in Public Service Announcements within WWF programming and on the CBS, UPN, and TNN networks to encouraging all people to exercise their right to vote, exposing this message to millions of young Americans.
October 2000 - The Rock, Mick Foley, Lita, Al Snow and the Hardy Boyz participate in a rally on Capitol Hill to celebrate the successful registration of more than 106,000 new voters through the efforts of Smackdown Your Vote!. The coalition's efforts turn to encouraging all registered voters to head to the polls in November.
Ultimately, 150,000 new voters register through the program, representing 15 percent of all new voters registering in 2000. Millions more receive ongoing campaign information through PSAs.
November / December 2000 - Smackdown Your Vote! continues to reach out to eligible voters in the week prior to the election. After election day, with the ultimate result of the presidential elections still in doubt, statistics show turnout among young people ages 18-30 increased by more than one million voters.
January 2001 - Smackdown Your Vote! announces two new members, and the appointment of WWF Superstar Kurt Angle as the coalition's honorary chairman.