Hackernoon logoSilicon Valley wants you to register to vote by@asandre

Silicon Valley wants you to register to vote

Andreas Sandre Hacker Noon profile picture

@asandreAndreas Sandre

Comms + policy. Author of #digitaldiplomacy (2015), Twitter for Diplomats (2013). My views here.

From Google to Medium and Facebook, they’re reminding us to go to the polls.

If you opened Google the morning before the first presidential debate, the eve of National Voter Registration Day, the search engine showcased its Register To Vote Doodle linked to how-to instructions based on the state you live in.

The Doodle was announced the same morning in a bi-language post on Google’s blog to highlight its #IRegister campaign and the efforts to create a digital platform where users can learn more about the candidates, the issues, and the voting process.

By helping more people get registered, we’re also helping ensure more people get to the polls and vote. The majority of Americans who register to vote end up voting — according to the US Census Bureau, in 2012, 86 percent of those who registered also voted in the November election.

Last week, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced #voteIRL, Youtube’s get out the vote campaign featuring the Youtube creator community to help get young people to the polls.

Even though people are clearly following the election online, we want to make sure they get involved “in real life,” too. We believe in giving everyone a voice. So this U.S. elections season, we’re committed to making sure that people — especially young people — use their voice by voting.

With only six weeks left until the US presidential election, Alphabet is not the only Silicon Valley giant to campaign for more people — the young generations of social media users in particular — to go to the polls in November.

Starting last Friday, Facebook introduced a new feature to remind all of its users based in the United States who are 18 or older to register. It’s Facebook’s first-ever nationwide voter registration campaign.

“We thought we had a unique ability and responsibility to show people this reminder that they should be checking their registration so they can participate in the election,” Katie Harbath, Facebook’s global politics and government outreach director, told USA TODAY.

According to NBC News, both Instagram and Twitter have voter registration campaigns in the works.

Meanwhile, for National Voter Registration Day, Twitter has launched the #IRegistered hashtag with a custom emoji.

In addition, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has tweeted a new initiative at Square, the online payment company he co-founded and heads.

On Snapchat, celebrities like Jared Leto, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Seacrest, and Jimmy Fallon, are sharing 10 second videos asking people to register and explaining why it’s so important to vote.

The campaign, running till October 7, is the result of a partnership between the company, which has recently re-branded itself Snap Inc., with TurboVote, an online platform created by Brooklyn-based nonprofit Democracy Works.

A spokesperson from Snap Inc. told Mashable that the new push aim at amplifying Snapchat’s community voice in the political process.

Our country’s democracy thrives on participation. But you can’t participate unless you register to vote.

Among TurboVote’s partners also voters app Brigade. According to their announcement on Medium, Brigade users that register to vote become verified voters on the platform with a special badge that appears alongside their profile avatar “when they take actions like pledging their vote for candidates and creating or joining debates on issues that matter to them.”

As part of Brigade’s commitment to the initiative, we’ve integrated TurboVote’s voter registration tool into our website and smartphone apps so that new members of our growing community who are not yet registered can take that critical step before their states’ upcoming voter registration deadlines.

As for Tumblr, the micro blogging platform has been a supporter of National Voter Registration Day since its inception in 2012, driving 100,000 registrations in 2012 and 30,000 in the 2014 midterm, as reported on Benzinga. This year, Tumblr is linking logged-in users in the US directly to a voter registration landing page via a prominent button on the right side of the Tumblr dashboard. They will also give blog owners the option to steer all of their web visitors to go register.

Back in June, Tumblr launched a new social impact campaign designed to get more millennials to vote. The company partnered with MTV’s Elect This voting initiative and hosted a series of virtual Q&As called IssueTime.

Victoria McCullough, Tumblr’s social impact and public policy manager, told AdWeek how this year, the stakes are really high and many of the issues can be confusing and could be misleading for young voters.

We have a community that’s naturally engaged in these issues anyway, so we wanted to play a role in educating them and giving them a voice in the platform, and moving them to a place from being interested to getting involved.

And she added:

There’s a real concern that millennials aren’t going to show up to vote this year, and we want to push back on the narrative.

And finally, here on Medium, users will find a Ready to Vote? button linked to the official vote.gov government platform, as well as information on how to get an absentee ballot.

On Medium, users are also the ones campaigning for the same cause and push more people to register to vote. Carolyn DeWitt, president of Rock the Vote, Edelman CEO Richard Edelman, Ilana Gordon on Dose, Meena Yi, Art Director at Democratic National Committee — or even users like Colin M. Ford, John R. Patrick, DHA, and Crystal Borde — are only a few examples of the many posts here on Medium on the importance of casting your vote.

Andreas Sandre Hacker Noon profile picture
by Andreas Sandre @asandre. Comms + policy. Author of #digitaldiplomacy (2015), Twitter for Diplomats (2013). My views here.Read my book!

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