A voter information site saw its traffic go through the roof Sunday night, after John Oliver gave it a colorful shoutout on his show.
Oliver, who focused his Sunday episode of “Last Week Tonight” on state attorneys general, ended the show two minutes early to encourage voters to visit Vote411.org and research their candidates. To ensure that they did, he purposefully drove his viewers away with a bagpipe-accordion duet.
“Go to Vote411.org right now because I promise this just isn’t going to get any better,” he said, adding a theremin, an obscure musical instrument, for good measure.
Well, it seems to have done the trick.
The site saw its traffic explode roughly 20 times more than average for a Sunday evening, clocking in its single biggest hour of traffic for the year with 47,383 pageviews between 12 a.m. and 1 a.m. That’s a 2,000 percent uptick.
“We knew that ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ was planning to mention VOTE411.org as a great resource to find information about candidates, but we had no idea they would do so in such a creative way that would drive so much traffic to our website,” said Sarah Courtney, senior director of communications and digital strategy for the League of Women Voters of the United States, which runs the site.
“Even before Sunday night, traffic to VOTE411.org has run ahead of the 2016 election which is really a great reflection of the enthusiasm for midterms and shows that voters are seeking out information before Election Day,” Courtney told TheWrap. “We are so grateful to John Oliver and his talented writers for finding a funny way to help voters engage on the issues and research their candidates.”
According to Courtney, Oliver’s plug was also the largest audience hour for the year with 14,154 visitors.
“State attorneys general — and yes, that is the correct plural, and if you already knew that, I’m sorry that high school was such a rough time for you,” John Oliver said on Sunday’s show.
A show about state attorneys general “sounds like a tedious prospect,” he acknowledged. “But look, it is worth the effort to learn about state AGs because they are very important,” even if “most of us probably don’t know who ours is.”
Most attorneys general are elected partisan officials, and 30 states will choose theirs on Nov. 6.
“Those elections are going to be unusually competitive,” Oliver added, saying that a record “$100 million will be spent on A.G. races this year, that’s up to three times more than ever before.”
Watch Oliver’s segment in the video below. Vote411’s plug starts at 16:01: