Across a two-week period, Snapchat pushed users over 18 to register to vote for the midterm elections Nov. 6. How? By adding a button to each user’s profile page. In addition, the social media sent video messages to let people know about the feature and encourage them to register.
Once clicked, the button redirected users to a nonpartisan voter registration website titled TurboVote.org. There, users answered questions about their eligibility, and they were redirected to their state and local election boards.
Snap, the company that owns Snapchat, says most of the activity was in key battleground states such as Texas, Florida and Georgia according to the New York Times.
“There’s no more powerful form of self-expression than the ability to vote,” says Jennifer Stout, global head of public policy at Snap. “The numbers we’ve seen have been fantastic and have shown us that our users have been some of the most engaged communities out there.”
Of the total 418,000 users Snapchat convinced to register, 79,148 registered in Texas, 29,044 in Florida, 22,649 in Georgia and 17,994 in Ohio. Other sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google also pushed their users to register to vote.
Convincing people to vote
Snapchat and other social media sites aren’t the only ones urging people to register to vote. Earlier this month, a bunch of users faked celebrity news to get people to click on voter registration websites.
Even Riot Fest got involved, tweeting a teaser for 2019’s lineup. When people went to read the story, it took them to register to vote instead.
The 2019 Riot Fest lineup is finally here! https://t.co/Gnc3S410OR
— Riot Fest (@RiotFest) October 15, 2018
While some people are tricking you to click on voter registration sites, other people are pleading. Taylor Swift urged her fans to vote and even endorsed two candidates in Tennessee. For many people, the consequences of these elections are huge, with younger voters making a huge impact.
For the first time, millennial voters could make a huge difference in the midterm elections. We shared earlier this month that only 28 percent of millennials actually voted. This means that millennial’s parents and even grandparents could have the deciding vote on LGBTQ, reproductive and climate change issues.
There is still a chance, though. After Swift broke her political silence, voter registration increased by 65,000 just a day after her statement. If more millennials voted, they could potentially change the political climate around things such as sexual assault and marijuana use.
Early voting is already open in some states, and it’s up to the younger generation to change the tide. Make sure you’re registered to vote at HeadCount.org and see if early voting is open in your state here.