September 29, 2023
Major League Baseball (MLB) has partnered with leading civic engagement organization, HeadCount, to register fans to vote in ballparks at MLB games. The campaign is part of the MLB Together initiative, the league's social responsibility platform which launched in May. The initiative is currently in a pilot phase through the 2023 season that initially includes nearly half of MLB Clubs with plans to expand in the future.
Civic engagement includes political activism, environmentalism and community and national service for the promotion of quality of life in a community. Voter turnout for the 2022 US congressional elections was the second highest for a nonpresidential election year since 2000, with 52.2% of the citizen voting-age population participating. However, through examination by age, sex, race and education levels – data reveals that these groups didn’t show the greatest turnout increases and, in many cases, displayed lower turnouts than in 2018 (where 53.5% of the population voted). Among broad age groups, 18- to 29-year-olds showed a noticeable decline in turnout since 2018 and Black and Latino or Hispanic Americans showed noticeably lower turnout rates.
The next US General election is November 7, 2023, encompassing public officials at all levels, from local and state up to the federal government. The next Presidential election will be held on November 5, 2024.
“We are thrilled to bring this opportunity to our fans to become actively involved in the democratic process,” said April Brown, Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility, MLB. “We are proud to work together with our clubs in a non-partisan effort as we actively engage our fans in the voter registration process to support the candidates of their choice.”
Activations at ballparks began in late June and will continue through the end of the season. This includes engagement booths for fans, where HeadCount volunteers register fans to vote or sign them up for local election alerts. Since 2004, HeadCount has signed up over one million voters through its civic engagement work at sporting events, music festivals and other events where it reaches young fans.
“HeadCount is thrilled to partner with Major League Baseball this season and expand our reach deeper into the sports world. Working with clubs coast-to-coast brings us to new markets, helps us engage with a wider swath of volunteers, and provides new opportunities to turn fans into voters. This exciting new program celebrates the union of two of America’s most beloved pastimes: baseball and democracy.” said Whitt Bell, Director of Partnerships and Events at HeadCount.
The League launched its partnership with HeadCount in late June during a game between the Miami Marlins and Boston Red Sox. By the end of the season, the roster of Clubs to participate in this program will include the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers. On September 19 – National Voter Registration Day in the US – the Braves and Rangers each featured HeadCount voter registration activations.
MLB Together emphasizes baseball's effort to make important societal contributions through the power of partnership and community. The platform embodies the sport’s guiding principles of community engagement, nonprofit partnerships, social impact and volunteerism. This partnership is a continuation of MLB’s efforts to engage fans and baseball personnel in voter education and registration, which began in 2020.