Phone2Action has joined Twitter, Snapchat, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and more than 65 other organizations and brands to help create a national Vote Early Day in this year’s general election.
Sponsored by MTV, Vote Early Day is set for Oct. 24, a Saturday when most states have in-person options for early voting and voters in many states can still request absentee ballots. Election Day is Nov. 3, about 10 days later.
“Voting early simplifies processes for election administrators, makes it easier for people juggling family and work responsibilities to participate, and keeps lines shorter on Election Day,” the group said in a statement.
For organizations that conduct advocacy or promote civic engagement, Vote Early Day is an opportunity. Like National Voter Registration Day, it’s an opportunity to launch campaigns and address audiences that may be receptive to participating early, from working adults to young, first-time voters.
“We support Vote Early Day because it perfectly matches our company’s values,” said Jeb Ory, CEO of Phone2action. “The organizations we work with want to make it easier for Americans to vote and we do, too. Early voting does exactly that. It is good for the electoral process.”
Record Turnout Expected
Most experts expect voter turnout to swell in 2020 as Americans choose who will control the White House, Congress and thousands of state offices across the nation.
The 2018 midterm election set records. Roughly 53 percent of registered voters cast a ballot, the highest turnout in a midterm in more than 90 years. Turnout increased among all age and ethic groups, according to the U.S. Census. This year’s election is expected to build on that and, thanks to a contentious presidential race, boost turnout even higher.
“The 2020 election is already seeing record levels of interest,” Najma Roberts, director of communications at the Democracy Fund, said in a statement. “Voting early this year is a way to be sure your own ballot counts and it helps keep lines short for everyone else on Election Day. Vote Early Day is exactly the kind of collaborative approach to educating voters we champion.”
Early Voting Increases Participation
Vote Early Day is one of a number of initiatives introduced in recent years to grow participation in the electoral process.
National Voter Registration Day, for example, was introduced in 2012 as a day when organizations of all kinds take to the streets in order to get Americans registered. It will take place on Sept. 22 this year. Time to Vote is a movement led by the business community to give employees paid time off to accommodate voting. More than 400 companies have signed on.
Vote Early Day builds on a trend that shows early voting gaining in popularity. About 40 percent voted early in 2016, up from 32 percent in 2008, according to USA Today. Some say it could help those who may have trouble voting otherwise.
“If you’re a first-time voter, going to the polls for the first time could be intimidating or might be confusing,” Jennifer Park Stout, head of global public policy at Snapchat, told USA Today. “Giving our users, and our community, two moments to vote, whether it be on Election Day or during this early voting period, is just an especially powerful tool. Especially for young people who can be in class or might be working or have other plans for Election Day. It really is providing them with additional tools to exercise their civic responsibility.”
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