World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and its partners in “Smackdown Your Vote!” have drawn the attention of some high-powered politicians.
So far, federal and state candidates and legislators representing 12 states have responded to The 18-30 VIP, the national voter-issues paper for 18- to 30-year-olds issued by WWE and Smackdown Your Vote!.
Smackdown Your Vote! is aimed at boosting voter participation among 18- to 30-year-olds by 2 million in this year's elections in order to reach 20 million young voters at the polls.
Responding to The 18-30 VIP so far: Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), democratic Senate candidate in Alaska and former Gov. Tony Knowles, Liberal candidate for representative from North Carolina Maximillian Longley, Alaska State Sen. Johnny Ellis (D), California Assemblywoman Wilma Chan (D), Colorado State Rep. Michael Garcia (D), Florida State Sen. Dave Aronberg (D), Massachusetts Sen. Robert Hedlund (R), Michigan State Rep. Steve Tobocman (D), Minnesota State Sen. Lynne Osterman (R), Minnesota State Rep. Tony Sertich (D), Nebraska State Sen. Adrian Smith (R), New York Assemblyman Ryan Karben (D), New York Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R) and Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Wansacz.
WWE has also made absentee-ballot software available online (vote.wwe.com), so that those in the targeted age group who are going to be traveling on Election Day can obtain absentee ballots.
WWE is using Votenet Solutions Inc.’s “Absentee Impact” software for that effort.
In other Smackdown news, ABC News Now will air the first ever “Smackdown Your Vote! Youth Debate” Sept. 29, sponsored by WWE and the University of Miami.
ABC News Now is ABC News’ 24/7 news service, available via digital television, digital cable, broadband and wireless.
ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper will moderate the debate, at the Gusman Concert Hall at the University of Miami Coral Gables Campus, which will feature Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Florida State Sen. Dave Aronberg (D), Florida State Rep. David Rivera (R), WWE Champion John "Bradshaw" Layfield and WWE Superstar and New York Times best-selling author Mick Foley.