FROM YOUR SCROLL, TO THE POLL
Major social media platforms assist and support young voters
While youth participation in general elections has historically proven lower than that of older generations, this could be the year today’s young adults turn their voices into votes. However, many face difficulty navigating the outdated, bureaucratic, and, quite frankly, burdensome process of actually registering to vote. Luckily, social media platforms are stepping in to make the journey to the polls as seamless as possible. By providing information, instruction, and inspiration, these networks have already registered millions of people in just a few weeks. So until the day young people can vote as easily as they can order takeout sushi, social media is here to help get the (polling) party started.
Snapchat’s election initiatives have already helped 750,000 U.S. users register to vote, many of them Gen Zs who will be voting for the first time this year. The app partnered with celebrities like former President Barack Obama and Snoop Dogg to showcase PSAs and post Stories encouraging young voter registration. The app also introduced several new Snap Original series such as “Good Luck Voter!” and Jaden Smith’s “The Solution Committee.” Users can conveniently register to vote, request a mail-in ballot, and test out a user-specific sample ballot right in the app.
Facebook hopes to help 4 million Americans register to vote by election day, a plan Mark Zuckerberg is calling the “largest voting information campaign in American history.” Since July, the company began pinning prompts with voting information at the top of Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds, as well as launching additional initiatives such as the virtual Vote-A-Thon 2020, which was hosted by YouTube star Liza Koshy. As of late September, Facebook claimed it had already helped 2.5 million people register to vote across its suite of Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger platforms.
Twitter intends its newly launched election hub to serve as a centralized space for Americans who are preparing to vote next month, while simultaneously combating misinformation. Found on the platform’s Explore tab, the “US Elections” hub features curated news moments (in both English and Spanish) from trustworthy sources, debate live streams, and information on the candidates. Twitter is also launching a series of educational PSAs all about the election process, touching on topics such as registration, requesting absentee ballots, and suggestions for safe in-person voting.