Now that the Democratic primary season has as good as come to an end, the stage is set for the two major parties to begin the real work of preparing for the November election. In addition to running expensive TV ads, that means it's time to get out the vote.
The Republican National Committee came out of the blocks first on Wednesday as it kicked off National Voter Registration Week and unveiled a 56-foot-long 18-wheeler named "Reggie the Registration Rig." RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie said he came up with the name for the rig one night while reading Dr. Seuss to his children.
"It is geared up to young voters," Gillespie told MTV News. "And [it's set up] for voters who don't get their news in traditional [ways]."
Gillespie explained that Reggie will stop at college campuses, NASCAR races and even a snowmobile show in Wisconsin during its eight-month cross-country quest to register 3 million new voters before the November election.
"We had a lot of close states in 2000, and we're going to have a lot of close states in 2004. [In 2000], 20,000 votes were the difference in four different states, worth 27 electoral college votes," Gillespie said. "We're going to register a million voters between March 6 and 13 for National Registration Week. We want to go and bring new voters into the party and this is a great way to communicate to younger voters."
The 18-wheeler hits the road this weekend loaded with computer terminals that allow people to register online and to join President Bush's "Racing to Victory" re-election team. Other features to help lure potential young voters into the truck include four plasma-screen televisions, DVD players and a couple of Xbox gaming stations.
For more political news, insight into the 2004 presidential election and information on registering to vote, check out Choose or Lose.