Next month, Snapchat is preparing to launch new features to encourage users to register to vote in the upcoming U.S. election and provide information and resources for voter turnout. It’s bringing the voter checklist card back — with information about where and how to register — that it debuted ahead of the 2018 midterms, which Snap says has helped more than 450,000 users register for that election.
Snap quoted work from the Centre for Knowledge and Analysis on Civic Learning & Participation (CIRCLE), a nonpartisan, independent research agency based at Tufts University that works on youth civic engagement in the US.
His research shows that the youngest voters who are eligible to vote in the November election are interested and politically active but do not know where to get information about voting registration.
Two-thirds of voters aged 18–21 who some college experience had said they had information about registering voters on their college campuses, research found by CIRCLE. But with many campuses going remote-only or limiting the number of students on campus this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is likely to affect college voter registration drives.
Snapchat say0s its audience includes 75 percent of the US’s 13- to 34-year-olds, and 80 percent of its 100 million US users are 18 or older. The company said between 300,000 and 500,000 Snapchat users turn 18 each month.
Before the 2018 midterms, Snapchat sent a voter registration link from the app to every user over the age of 18 in the US, which launched a Snapchat-branded TurboVote mobile site where users could register and start a filter to promote National Voter Registration Day.
In June, Snap debuted Minis, a suite of third-party developer-made miniature applications running inside the Snapchat app. It’s partnering with TurboVote as part of its voter awareness push, which will build a mini voter registration which includes a tracker to monitor how many users have registered to vote on Snapchat. TurboVote is a Democracy Works tool, a non-partisan, non-profit organization made up of developers, experts in public policy, and civic organizers.
Snapchat is also planning a “Before You Vote” mini with BallotReady for November’s election to let users know where and how to vote, and what mail and early voting options are available in their states. The mini can also have software to fill out ballots and find voting places for users.