Sep 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: MTV to pay for ballot registration requests

Photo Illustration by Alvin Chan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

MTV will pay for the printing and postage of any ballot application requested through websites linked to its new voter initiative campaign, network executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: Studies shows that many Americans want to vote early given the limitations of the pandemic, but some may not be familiar with the steps required to vote early.

Catch up quick: MTV has long led the media industry in championing voter initiatives, including helping launch Rock the Vote in 1990. This year, the network and its parent company ViacomCBS are focusing on voting early by mail or dropbox due to COVID-19.

Details: The campaign, called Vote For Your Life, is operated by MTV's parent company ViacomCBS and the Ad Council, a nonprofit that runs public service announcements (PSAs).

  • It is designed to lead voters — especially those who are young and possibly voting for the first time — to tools that make it easy to quickly check registration status, request a ballot and make a plan to vote early.
  • MTV pay for printing and mailing ballot applications for voters through October 6, which is the deadline for voters to receive applications and return them on time. Voters can access applications via the campaign websites or
  • The sites, powered by BallotReady and TurboVote, are accessible in English and Spanish (

The campaign also features PSAs that will run across all platforms on ViacomCBS – linear and digital, including cable networks like MTV, BET and Comedy Central, its flagship broadcast network CBS, Simon & Schuster and more.

What's next: Nearly every media company has launched some kind of voter initiative ahead of this year's historic election. Many are adapting their campaigns to address changes to voting procedures due to the pandemic.

Go deeper: Media giants launch voting efforts ahead of the election

Go deeper