Good news for democracy: Taylor Swift's viral Instagram post shattering her apolitical reputation has led to a massive spike in new voter registrations in the US.
According to the nonpartisan website Vote.org, about 212,000 people registered to vote since Swift announced she was supporting is Tennessee Democrats Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the U.S. House of Representatives in the upcoming midterm elections and encouraged her 112 million followers to go to the ballot box.
For context, the website registered a total of 56,669 new voters in August and 190,178 in September. As a non-partisan organisation, Vote.org doesn't record people's political affiliation when they register.
On Sunday, Swift broke her longtime silence on politics, writing on Instagram: "In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now," she wrote. "I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country."
Vote.org also saw an increase in Tennessee, Swift's home state. More than 6,200 of the 7,554 new voters that have registered this month did so after Swift's Instagram post. The website registered just 951 new voters in August and 2,811 in September.
This might be because the singer specifically spoke against Rep. Marsha Blackburn, saying the Republican's anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-women's rights voting record terrified her. "These are not MY Tennessee values," she wrote.
It's not the first time we've seen a spike in new voters this year, either. After the Parkland school shooting earlier this year, there was an increase in voter registration, particularly among young people in Florida. Data by the Pew Research Centre also shows that there was an increase in voter turnout this primary season compared to the 2014 midterm election, especially among Democrats.
Swift's Instagram post won't determine the outcome of this election, but an increase in voter registration is good news for democracy.
Tuesday marks the last day you can register to vote in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. Go here for more information about state deadlines and here for our guide on how to register to vote.
This story was originally published at 11:41 a.m. It has since been updated.