With election day upon us, many popular social media sites participated in their own voter registration encouragement efforts.
These efforts seem to be targeted toward young, first-time voters, with the popular short-form video sharing app TikTok encouraging users to register to vote and participate in democracy. The app is popular among teenangers specifically, and while Instagram, Facebook and Twitter started their registration efforts months ago, TikTok recently hopped on the bandwagon.
TikTok has recently launched a US elections guide which includes voter registration information. This election guide is linked at the bottom of videos shared by verified political accounts or videos relating to the election.
Instagram, the popular photo-sharing social media application, was one of the first social media apps (along with Facebook) to start an initiative to get users registered to vote, featuring prominent information boxes and ads.
Snapchat, the quick photo-sharing app, launched a tab on the user’s profile page where the user can go to register to vote. Users can even request a ballot sent to them through the app. Snapchat also launched a voter guide, featured in the user’s “Discover” feed. However, unlike other social media apps, Snapchat tapped social figures popular among young adults, such as rapper Snoop Dogg and former President Barack Obama, along with former governor Arnold Schwarznegger, to help encourage voter registration efforts.
Political science junior Desiree Nunes believes social media can polarize voting information, but acknowledges that having it promote voting can be useful.
“I think that social media sites pushing users to register to vote and providing voter guides has been helpful in dispersing information quickly and efficiently. It allows so many people to join the conversation,” said Nunes.
For psychology sophomore Katelyn La, the social media platform’s efforts are working just the way they’re intended to.
“I still have to vote and I have noticed that nearly every social media platform had the register to vote link permanently displayed on their sites which is really influential in reminding me to go vote,” said La.
Now, many social media apps pushed users to make a plan to vote, whether by mail or in-person, by providing information regarding voting options, such as by mail or in-person. Social media sites are also encouraged users to vote early, if possible.
Some efforts to get voters registered for one of the most uncertain and contested elections in American history aligned with National Voter Registration Day on September 22nd or the last day to register to vote in California, October 19th.
Social media companies have been making their final push to get young voters registered. While the voter registration deadline in California has passed, social media companies are now pushing efforts to ensure voters get their ballots properly filled out and turned in. In fact, the state of California allows same-day registration on election day. More information on same-day registration can be found here.
To find out more election information, including polling place locations and Vote-By-Mail ballot drop boxes in SLO County, visit the SLO County Clerk’s website.