Twitter stands for freedom of expression and speaking truth to power, two essential principles for civic engagement. What better way to reinforce these principles than registering to vote, so that you can make your voice heard on Election Day?
This year, local elections are happening in all 50 states across the U.S. And for the second year in a row, Twitter partnered with National Voter Registration Day (@NatlVoterRegDay) to host a discussion about the importance of staying connected, both online and in the polling booth, in celebration of this national day of action. We convened panelists and audience members from government, corporate, and nonprofit sectors at our DC office to share insights on the importance of ongoing political engagement-- with the first step always being voter registration.
Through our conversation in person and online between representatives from Rock The Vote, BET, National League of Cities, and National Association of State Election Directors, we heard the experts trade best practices about voter registration efforts. The common challenge-- and opportunity-- is finding voters where they organically spend their time, to get them both to register and turn out at the polls. In 2017, that means going to social media platforms like Twitter to connect with eligible voters and helping them register to vote.
There was a lot of conversation around ensuring that youth and college students know how powerful their voices are and how important it is for young people to vote and be engaged with their communities. Local elections have a strong, tangible impact on their communities, and are are the strongest way to let your local officials know what matters to you. City leaders have a duty to keep their constituents informed both with changes to voting and to affirm your right to participate in the electoral process. A key strategy recommendation for staying in the know, and being a part of the action was to simply stay engaged on Twitter.
Equal access to pertinent information is a key component in participating in a democracy. Twitter makes it easier for everyone to know about voting and registering by supporting local and national organizations with that mission. These partnerships lead to tools that make registering to vote as simple as sending a tweet.
And on Tuesday September 26, National Voter Registration Day, celebrities and influencers across the U.S. mobilized voters on Twitter:
Even though the 2016 election feels very recent for a lot of people, there are now state and local elections happening in every state, including gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey and mayoral races in major cities like Atlanta, Boston, New York, and Seattle. This discussion illustrates how essential Twitter is to keep users informed about their local leaders, rights as a voter, and ways to get involved with the electoral process. Civic engagement is what’s happening now! We hope you will get involved.
To keep up with the conversation, check out #BeVocalVoteLocal and #NationalVoterRegistrationDay. And don’t forget to register to vote!