Frequently Asked Questions

A Guide to ASCAP Citizen

  • ASCAP Citizen FAQ
What does it mean to be an ASCAP Citizen?
Being an ASCAP Citizen means exercising your right to be heard in our democracy and encouraging others to do the same. It starts with voting, but it doesn’t end there. We want ASCAP members to be active citizens all year long, staying informed, engaging in civic debate and communicating with the officials elected to represent you at all levels of government. As music creators, your voice is important. And we want to help make sure your voice is heard.
Why are voting and advocacy important for ASCAP members?

Most people don’t realize that American songwriters, composers and music publishers are some of the most heavily regulated small business owners in the country. Roughly three-quarters of a songwriter’s income is regulated by the federal government. These rules dictate how music creators, like you, license your work and often how it is valued in the marketplace (and thus how much you are ultimately paid for the rights to use your work). It is important that elected officials not only understand the unique challenges facing music creators today, but also that they hear from you on a regular basis.

How do I register to vote?

ASCAP has partnered with HeadCount to help make it easy for you. Just go to or text VOTER ASCAP to 40649.

What do I need to register to vote?

In most states you need (1) an address from which you plan to vote, and (2) an ID number – either a current and valid driver’s license or your social security number.

I’m already registered to vote – what else should I do?

That’s great! But first, it’s always a good idea to double-check your registration status and make sure it’s up to date. You can start that process at Once you’ve confirmed your registration, you should make a plan for how and where you are going to vote -- whether it’s in person or by mail, early or on Election Day – and make sure you’re aware of all of the relevant deadlines in your state. Finally, you can encourage others to do the same!

Do I need to update my voter registration?

Good question! If you’ve recently moved, you need to make sure you are registered to vote at your current address. If you’ve recently changed your name or party affiliation, you may also need to update your voter registration. You can start that process at

What are the voter registration deadlines in my state?

Deadlines and requirements vary by state. But the voter registration deadline for the November general election in most states is early October. You can find detailed information for your state on HeadCount’s website – just scroll down to find your state. Here are quick links to information pages for California, New York, Tennessee and Florida.

What if I move around a lot and I’m not sure where I’ll be during the election?

The best thing to do is to register now wherever you have a permanent mailing address. Vote in that district and bring some proof of identification and/or residency, or apply for an absentee ballot if you will be away during the election.

Can I vote before Election Day?

Many states allow no-excuse absentee voting by mail (which you can complete before Election Day). More than half of U.S. states offer in-person early voting as well. Visit the Headcount Early and Absentee Voting page to get more information or request an absentee ballot.

What is ASCAP’s advocacy mission?

Through its advocacy efforts, ASCAP strives to protect the rights of music creators and defend the value of music. In service of that mission, we often call upon our more than 775,000 members across the country to weigh in with their elected officials on policy issues that matter most to music creators.

How can I get involved and be an ASCAP Citizen year-round?

Lawmakers in Washington need to hear from songwriters like you. You can be the first to know about important developments by signing up for ASCAP Advocacy alerts. We may ask you to post on social media, sign a petition or email your member of Congress or US Senator. And we’ll provide you with all the tools and information you need to be an effective ASCAP Citizen in the fight to Stand With Songwriters.