Looking For More Voting Information Before Election Day? Slide Into Twitter's DMs — VIDEO
Elections look a lot different these days, thanks to the digital technology at our fingertips. Even eight years ago, when President Obama was first elected, the big social media platforms were just getting off the ground, and definitely weren't optimizing their ability to facilitate voting and civic engagement. The world is just beginning to see the full potential for this now, in particular with a new tool Twitter announced that will help voters learn more about the voting process and what's at stake on Election Day. Twitter's @Gov account will help you vote by privately sending you all the information you need to make an informed decision on Nov. 8.
The tool, which has the same name as its handle, is designed to give users quick and easy access to information on where to vote, who they can vote for, and what additional ballot measures they may be voting on. All you need is a Twitter account and you can slide in @Gov's DMs to find out more information.
"Starting today, when a someone [sic] sends a private, Direct Message to Twitter's @Gov account they will have access to a variety of additional, personalized voting information, including polling location, candidate and proposition information, and additional electoral resources about absentee voting and state election rules," Twitter announced in a blog post about the upgrade to the service.
You do have to give your address in order for @Gov to be able to find your personalized info, but as long as you're comfortable with that, the tool should be enormously useful.
This resource has a lot of benefits and ease of use features that should prove helpful to voters who take advantage of it. First, thanks to its anonymity, people have a safe space to ask questions about the voting process without the fear of being judged. Civics is, unfortunately, not an American strong suit — only about one-fourth of high school seniors scored "proficient" on a federal civics exam. Twitter's new service provides a way for people to supplement their civic education and learn more about the election process so it's less intimidating to engage.
Second, the integration with local and state elections and ballot measures will demystify that process. State elections tend to receive much less reporting than presidential elections, and local elections even less than that, so it can be really hard to find information to help you make a smart choice for those. A combined platform to access more information on each level of election will be useful, even for people who are already pretty politically aware.
It's inspiring to see tech giants like Twitter committed to the idea of civil engagement and working to get the country involved in this critical process.
Images: Twitter Government/Twitter (1)