While walking towards the student union at my college, a number of voter registration volunteers approached me to register for upcoming November elections. Many would recognize the long rectangular sheet to put down your personal information and place of residency. I don’t know why, but I dread going through this process. So I just smiled and said, “no thank you” and went on way. I wanted to register but filling out the form would’ve taken too long in my busy schedule.
But on Sept. 19, California launched a new voting registration system that makes registering to vote just a couple clicks away. The new system, saves money for CA, and helps remove barriers to access such as finding a voter registration station or volunteer. In the digital age, where most people, esp. the Millennial generation, have a smartphone, tablet, or a viable access to the Internet, registering to vote has become accessible to all eligible Californians.
With the use of social media, you can post this link, in order reach out and let the masses know that voter registration has become accessible to all Californians in preparation for the November elections.
I tried the new system out and surprisingly, the form layout and interface is very user friendly and the process is fairly short. The voting system verifies your information from your DMV records to prevent voter fraud and overall, the process is seamless. I think the only issue now is to promote the online system to every eligible voter in CA. I’m sure that social networking, traditional media, and word of mouth will be the best avenues of outreach.
How can we get the word out about these technologies?
- QR Codes! You can put the little black and white squares to be scanned by smartphones with a QR scan reader. Most are free apps for your phones and tablets, and you can direct the code to go directly to the CA voter registration site.
- Create a voter registration station with both the paper form, but now have a laptop and an internet access available to give new voters options to register.
- Flyers and digital flyer attachments with the website URL can be distributed on your college campus and community.
- Conduct workshops on your campus that can teach new voters the step by step process of how to register online.
- Have a Rock the Vote type event on campus that can promote the new website through speakers and entertainment about the importance of voter registration.
- Facebook, twitter, Google+….use social networking to your advantage! Enclose the link in a status update, or create a fan page or an invite to a voter Facebook page where you can register to vote and have a discussion about the upcoming debates, the presidential, and state/local measures and candidates.