Taylor Swift Casts a Vote & Gives to Charity


CMA Horizon Award winner Taylor Swift will perform at CMA Music Festival, June 5-8, 2008, in Downtown Nashville. Photo courtesy of Big Machine Records. Provided by Country Music Association.

June 2, 2008 — Having turned 18 in December, Taylor Swift is able to vote for the first time, and yes, she’s planning to exercise her civic duty come November. She’s also taking it seriously.

"I’ve been trying to do my research more," she told The Tennessean. "Before you have the ability to vote, you just kind of support who your parents support. I’ve had more interest in figuring out who believes in what, because every vote counts."

While Taylor is becoming more politically aware, she has no intention of influencing anyone else’s vote. Apparently no presidential candidate will get "Swift-boated" in 2008.

"I’m not going to talk about politics, because it’s not my specialty," she said. "I know as much as your average 18-year-old who wants to know the general issues...but I’m not going to go out there and try to influence thousands of people because I have a music career and a platform to say things publicly. I don’t think because you do have the platform to say things publicly that you necessarily should."

As it is, Taylor’s busy enough — especially in the coming week. She has a number of activities planned for the CMA Music Festival, which opens in Music City Thursday. She joins Randy Travis and Gretchen Wilson at the CMA Celebrity Close Up series of fan-generated interviews at the Ryman Auditorium Thursday afternoon, then performs that night at LP Field on a bill that includes Jewel, Sugarland, Montgomery Gentry and Kellie Pickler. On Saturday, she plans to sign autographs for festival registrants for six hours, beginning at 10 a.m. Next Monday, she’s the musical guest on NBC’s season premiere of "Nashville Star."

But this busy, politically-aware star is also socially responsible. This Saturday, June 7 at the CMA Music Festival, Taylor is donating all of the profits from her merchandise sales at the Big Machine Records booth to the Red Cross. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Nashville Area Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund in Middle Tennessee and a portion will benefit the National American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.