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Gun Control Activists at March for Our Lives Register Thousands of Voters to Influence Elections

An attendee at a rally against gun violence holds signs that read "March for Our Lives March 24" and "Take Guns Out of the Equation," Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. The rally was held on the same day Gov. Inslee was scheduled to sign a …
AP/Ted S. Warren

The gun control activists behind Saturday’s March for Our Lives rally enlisted the help of several voter registration organizations with the aim of getting people to vote in favor of limiting Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

HeadCount, a 501(c)3 and 4945(f) organization that bills itself as a nonpartisan group that “promotes participation in democracy” partnered with the March for Our Lives and registered nearly 5,000 voters at March for Our Lives rallies throughout the U.S. in 30 cities.

A post on the group’s Facebook page announced that the organization registered “4,800 new voters” in one day at the March for Our Lives.

HeadCount founder Andy Bernstein said that with the help of nearly 2,000 volunteers who canvassed at Saturday’s march, his organization registered more people to vote Saturday than any other day in its 15-year history.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done a march,” Bernstein told BuzzFeed News.

The voter registration numbers from HeadCount do not include online voter registration and the number of voters registered through other voter registration organizations, according to HeadCount spokesperson Aaron Ghitelman.

Although the organization mostly focused on registering voters at concerts and music events before the March for Our Lives, the father of one of the gun control student activists at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School convinced the organization to partner with the anti-gun march.

Ghitelman told CNN that the father of Marjory Stoneman Douglas activist Cameron Kasky got in touch with the organization to get the group to register voters at the March for Our Lives.

Ghitelman told Breitbart News that HeadCount decided to show up at the march because when there is such a “groundswell of energy that people ask us to come [to their event], we show up.”

After the march, the organization announced that it would focus on getting high school students registered to vote. On Sunday, HeadCount released a guide on how to conduct school and community voter registration drives.

HeadCount’s canvassers were not the only ones registering people to vote at the rallies.

Other voter registration organizations who conducted get-out-the-vote efforts at gun control marches throughout the U.S. included left-leaning groups Forward Alabama and Palm Beach Indivisibles.

The groups, as well as the official March for Our Lives event, also promoted online voter registration.

The March for Our Lives website has two sections on voter registration, with one on “DIY Voter Registration”  and another encouraging people to  “Register to Vote.”

The “DIY Voter Registration” page encourages community organizers to start their own voter registration drives and makes any organizer who agrees to do a voter registration drive to affirm that they would report the results of their registration drives to the March for Our Lives through a survey. It is unclear whether march organizers will release the results of the registration drive surveys to the public.

The “Register to Vote” page encourages prospective voters to enter their email address and zip code to see if their state offers online voter registration that can be completed in less than two minutes.

The gun control-supporting students behind the march say that they hope these get-out-the-vote efforts directly impact turnout in future elections.

“With this movement, we will ensure record-breaking turnout not just in the next presidential election, not in the next midterm election, but in all elections,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Sari Kaufman told a crowd at a Saturday rally in Parkland, according to Reuters. “We’re here today to give you the tools to make a change.”

Second Amendment supporters say they are taking these get-out-the-vote efforts backed by these gun control groups seriously, especially as the upcoming 2018 midterm elections draw closer.

Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, told Breitbart News that people who are pro-gun and supporters of the Constitution “need to get active” and “make sure that [friends and relatives] are registered to vote.”

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