From a young age, children all over the country are taught that in America, we have the privilege to vote being a part of a democracy and thus, voting is our civic duty. But one thing that is easily forgotten is when and where to register, fill out and absentee ballot, and vote. I think that the internet played a big role in reminding people of these deadlines this year.
As a 21 year old, I have voted in a presidential election that happened right after I turned 18, and this was my first presidential primary. Most of my friends have never voted before, so they obviously had not been registered to vote yet. I saw a big push on social media that really helped college students remind other college students where and when to register and how to fill out an absentee ballot. I even joined the conversation because I know that a lot of college students did not know that they had to register by a certain date and send in an absentee ballot if they didn't want to go home to their polling place.
Something that I think helped drive millennials to the polls were the conversation starters that Facebook and Twitter used such as the "voting" sticker or #SuperTuesday. I think that in addition to the traditional "I'm a Georgia Voter" stickers, these pop-ups on newsfeeds and timelines around the state were a good reminder for people (especially millennials) to get to the polls.
Both of these allowed for users on the platforms to engage in conversation, see who else was talking about voting, and ultimately peruse through the results of Super Tuesday.
I'd be remiss not to mention that I am a little frustrated with how difficult it is for college students to vote. Not everybody knows when to register by or what the deadline for absentee ballots is because Facebook posts and tweets cannot reach everyone, so I saw plenty of friends who weren't able to vote simply because they could not make it home to their polling place. Universities should send helpful links or even establish locations where college students can vote away from home. (Obviously, I'm not a political expert so I don't know how the logistics of this would work, but for lots of college students, driving home in the middle of midterms to vote is simply not an option).
I would also like to see some sort of online voting platform released. There has to be a secure way for people to vote from home or from school, and hey, maybe we could even make people read through the candidates' platforms so they know what they are voting for? Though I did think that the internet did a great job of sharing information this year, I think that we can get better as we continue to progress through the digital age.