By: Courtney Anne Echerd
“So, Trump or Hillary?” You have heard it from your distant relatives and work acquaintances a hundred times. What about, “are you registered to vote?” You’ve probably gotten that one about a thousand times. Well, here’s a new one. Your trusty ol’ pals over at Snapchat have introduced a new feature. You’ve probably guessed by now that they haven’t added a new animal feature or video speed, but they have made it possible for you to register to vote in under five minutes.
What Does Snapchat Know about Politics?
Maybe nothing, maybe everything? The point is, this operation is not totally run by Snapchat. There’s no “snap to vote” option. The registration is through Snapchat, but is actually created by Snapchat’s app. Snapchat has partnered with an application called TurboVote, which is owned and operated by a nonprofit, nonpartisan company called Democracy Works, who receives funding from Google. The company has also partnered with dozens of other websites and apps, including the Skimm, Airbnb, and Spotify, with the hope of reaching an 80 percent voter turnout by the year 2020. Since Snapchat reaches over 41 percent of all 18-34 year olds on any given day, Turbovote and Snapchat are running a public service campaign to encourage voting among younger citizens. Snapchat will not track any of your data throughout the application and Turbovote won’t release any private or personal information during or after the process, so you have got nothing to lose.
You Want In?
These videos are only accessible for Snappers who are 18 years of age or older, but after that, the only requirements to use this system are that you are eligible to vote (it had to be said) and that you are a user of Snapchat. You can find TurboVote’s ads in between the Discover and “Recent Updates” tabs on Snapchat’s Stories page. Clicking on their tab will redirect you to a 10 second video of a familiar face (could be Jimmy Fallon, could be The Rock, could be Ryan Seacrest… this is kind of like a Wonder Ball) encouraging you to use the system to register to vote. You then just swipe upward and you are able to check your eligibility. Once you are in the clear, a registration page will appear. What happens after that will depend on the state in which you live. The process might end there, or you may have some follow-up steps to take. Either way, TurboVote is trying to make the procedure as painless as possible. No matter where you live, TurboVote will send you emails or texts to make sure you get the process completed in the quickest and most efficient way.
Act quickly! Early voting has begun in several states and this quick and easy feature is only available for a few more weeks, then they are cutting you off on October 7th. Let us know if Snapchat’s voter encouragement works on you @FirstCom_Music