I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed today when I noticed something a little strange. A friend had declared that they knew exactly who did and didn’t vote amongst all their friends on Facebook. And they’d used a simple new app to find out.
The app, called “Did They Vote?”, is an excellent example of civic media. What better way to spur millennials to engage civically than to incite their worst fear… being judged and publicly shamed over Facebook!
Did They Vote? uses public voting records to access voter participation information to match up individuals on your friend list that haven’t yet submitted their ballots. It then prompts you with a “message” feature, where you can send a helpful reminder to your tardy/absent minded companions urging them to exercise their democratic right.
The website has all the hallmarks of a truly spreadable medium. There’s a page dedicated just to spreading, ingeniously titled “Promote This”, where you can find links to embed a video explaining the app, as well as images of the app’s brand logo to download and spread via email, social media, or elsewhere online.
There’s also a leaderboard displaying the most prolific app users and spreaders, a device undoubtedly added to motivate users to message as many friends as possible.
I’m curious about how this app will impact voter turnout. Millennials are notorious for opting out of elections, but I think that this crafty blend of social media verve and activism will help change those statistics.