The recent presidential election was the largest turnout in over a century. Robert and a small team of young Phone2Action engineers wrote a Get Out the Vote program that let voters check their registration, get information on elected officials and candidates, and, if you weren’t registered, made it easy to register in whatever state was your residence.
Altogether, the program was used by over 1,700,000 people to register to vote. Millions of others used it to check their registration, learn more about their local candidates, and find out about local rule changes in response to the pandemic.
According to Robert, “We feel that voting is crucial in any circumstance, but the situation surrounding the 2020 election made us feel our work was even more important. We wanted to make sure voters were informed beyond just the high-profile presidential race and that they could get the most specific and up to date information about the ever-changing voting conditions due to the pandemic. Our work was helping people stay aware and safe.”
However, having a great program is only part of the challenge. Creating awareness about the program was crucial to its success. The site was designed to be white-labeled, rebranded to fit whichever group or individual was willing to push the site.
Many organizations and artists went out of their way to promote Get Out the Vote. Musical artists such as Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, David Byrne, Dead and Co., and Lenny Kravitz launched campaigns through their various platforms. Social media influencers such as Ninja and David Dobrik created giveaways using the site. Dobrik offered a chance to win one of five Teslas for registering to vote or checking your registration and signed up more than 120,000 people. Many got involved, including Instacart, Seventh Generation, HeadCount, UnidosUS, GlobalCitizen, NextGen America, Human Rights Campaign, and even CTA.
Robert, now a student at the College of William and Mary, said, “I want to do more to get people to understand and impact the day-to-day actions in the world of politics. For too many people, politics and government only enter their mind in regard to the presidential election every four years. There’s so much more to it than that, especially at the state and local level.”
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