GoVoteBot is back for the 2018 Midterm elections!
Dear Readers - US Vote is proud to feature this blog from one of the best civic tech solutions developers we've had the honor to meet: R/GA and their brilliant team.
Every American has their own highly-personal reasons for voting. Whether health, family, safety, income, or education, we aren’t voting for politicians, we’re voting for our personal interests and ideals. Despite our polarized reasons, many voters struggle with figuring out how to vote. It’s hard! America’s electoral system is complex, nuanced, and very frustrating.
R/GA’s challenge? To create a solution that allows everyone (everywhere) to vote for whatever it is they want using a non-partisan campaign that keeps everyone’s pre-election concerns in mind.
We were inspired by a single, super-compelling stat: in 2014, only 16.2% of 18 to 34 year-olds turned out to vote in the midterm elections. That means 4 of every 5 people in this age group missed an opportunity to effect sweeping political change. If young people want their voices heard in 2018, they need to show up at the polls. But for many voters, new voters in particular, the process is intimidating and confusing.
That’s why we made GoVoteBot.
We noticed that many millenials and Gen Z went to their peers first with their voting questions. So we created a messenger bot that combined the ease of talking to a friend with power of a search engine. GoVoteBot answers any questions users might have about registration, polling, absentee ballots, and much more. R/GA’s passionate team of young creatives, activists, and technologists improved on the last iteration of this tool in order to empower young midterm voters by equipping them with straightforward information and simplified resources.
R/GA leveraged their Brand AI practice to make GoVoteBot smarter than ever. It understands critical, location-specific questions like, "Where's my polling location in Montana?" "Where can I vote early in Florida?" and "Do I get time off to vote in Nevada?". Thanks to data from our partner U.S. Vote Foundation, the bot now surfaces some of voters’ top questions. This includes topics like "Do I need to vote for all of the races on the ballot?" or "How do I change my party affiliation for the November general election?" (Hint… The upcoming November election is a “General Election” and doesn't require voters to be affiliated with a party!).
To our target demographic, sharing passion is critical. So R/GA included a meme generator that lets users share their own specific reasons for voting in this election. The bot will create a customized image to share, helping spread the word about the importance of voting.
Today, young adults are more empowered and aware than ever before. And when supplied with the tools needed to hit the polls in droves, there’s no reason they can’t be the most influential generation yet.