Over 1 Million Voters Have Registered on Snapchat So Far
Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake
Snap's voter registration efforts seem to be paying off.
Over 1 million Snapchatters have registered to vote using Snap as of Thursday morning, the Santa Monica-based social media and advanced camera company announced.
According to data from New York-based nonprofit TurboVote, Snap's partner on its in-app voter registration initiative, 56% of these registrants are first-time voters. 64.5% are aged 18-24.
Many are coming from Sun Belt states. The company reported high registration volumes from users in Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. Donald Trump won all four of those states in the 2016 presidential election.
The new figures come about two months after Snap announced several features and partnerships to help its young user base vote. These include two simplified third-party mini-apps that live within Snapchat, which in addition to helping users register to vote, also provide resources for them to learn about their voting options and make a plan to cast their ballots.
In 2018, Snap registered about 450,000 voters, of whom approximately 57% ultimately voted, the company said.
The company will continue focusing on helping users study their sample ballot, find polling locations and request a mail-in ballot if they wish through its Before You Vote mini-app, developed in partnership with Chicago-based nonprofit BallotReady, according to a Snap spokesperson.
Research from Tufts University earlier this year found that 24% of 18-29 year olds report having voted by mail before. Over a quarter of 18-21 year olds say they don't know where to find information about mail-in-voting.
Snap users will also have a checklist feature leading up to the election showing what they need to do to vote, and they will receive reminders from the app about early voting deadlines.
Snap says it fact-checks political advertisements "using human review" and that its content platform, Discover, is curated in collaboration with "trusted media partners." Users can send messages to friends, but there is no broadcast news feed, in contrast to many social media platforms.
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Minutes into filling out my absentee ballot last week, I was momentarily distracted by my dog Seamus. A moment later, I realized in horror that I was filling in the wrong bubble — accidentally voting "no" on a ballot measure that I meant to vote "yes" on.
It was only a few ink marks, but it was noticeable enough. Trying to fix my mistake, I darkly and fully filled in the correct circle and then, as if testifying to an error on a check, put my initials next to the one I wanted.
Then I worried. As a reporter who has previously covered election security for years, I went on a mini-quest trying to understand how a small mistake can have larger repercussions.
As Los Angeles County's 5.6 million registered voters all receive ballots at home for the first time, I knew my experience could not be unique. But I wondered, would my vote count? Or would my entire ballot now be discarded?
My distractingly sweet dog, Seamus.
Photo by Tami Abdollah
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