The presidential election is less than 50 days away, but voting begins early in some states. North Carolina, for example, will begin its early voting on Oct. 20, giving all presidential candidates a chance to gain some early traction in the 2016 race.
With the election right around the corner — and the presidential debates, which will pit Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton against GOP nominee Donald Trump, scheduled to start Monday — it’s important that Americans know where and how they can register to vote in the upcoming election.
Luckily, social media has created a slew of new ways for citizens to start the registration process. This should especially help out millennials, who have proven to be an influential voting group, even though only 46 percent of people in that age group voted in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center.
This low voter turnout may be why celebrities and organizations have worked to inspire the younger voters to get out to the polls. Director Joss Whedon recently created a new video full of celebrities who encourage young voters to get out and “Save the Day” during the election, Quartz reported. We've decided not to link to the video because of is mature language.
But that video is far from the only way young Americans are getting pushed to vote. Say goodbye to snail mail and hello to these new ways to registering.
It’s no doubt 2016 is the Snapchat election now. Snapchat and Democracy Works, a nonprofit organization that encourages voter registration, are working together to help millennials and young Americans register through the storytelling app, according to Mashable.
To do so, Snapchat users who are 18 years old or older can see ads that play during Snapchat Stories and the Discover feature that will show users a link to a TurboVote-inspired website. It’s on this page where the Snapchat users can register.
"Our country's democracy thrives on participation. But you can't participate unless you register to vote. We hope this effort amplifies our community's voice come November," a Snapchat spokesperson told Mashable.
Slide into your own DMs and register using HelloVote, a new chat bot that will assist you in registering for the upcoming election. As its website explains, all you have to do is go to the bot’s main website and enter in your phone number — or text HELLO to 384-387 — and a HelloVote chatbot will immediately start helping you fill out the voter registration form. There’s also an option to engage with this bot using Facebook Messenger.
The text conversation you have with the bot will automatically fill out state online forms. In some states, the bot will email you the forms you need to complete. HelloVote will also send you registration websites, if your state requires them.
“We believe voting should be as easy and accessible as possible,” the website explained. “HelloVote makes the process of registering to vote as easy as possible, by removing all the barriers. It's fast. It's 100 percent nonpartisan. You don't need a printer. You don't need a computer. You don't need stamps for mailing things. You don't even need a smartphone - any cellphone will work! With so much at stake in the upcoming election, it's crucial that every eligible voter shows up and casts their ballot in November.”
Figuring out how to vote — early or otherwise — online has never been easier. Just head over to vote.usa.gov and enter in your information to find out if you’re eligible to vote and what processes you have to go through to register.
Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.