Politicizing Generation Text

If you’ve seen the blur of teenagers’ thumbs punching out
dispatches on cell phones, you know that young people haves been
the quickest to pick up on the text-messaging trend. The service
allows for communication in locations and situations previously
unimaginable, from movie theaters to classrooms. And while such
uses can be endlessly annoying, some folks have found ways to mine
the new technology for the loftier goal of political
engagement.

In Johnson County, Kansas, the election commissioner plans to
increase young voter turnout with a service that sends reminders of
election dates,
writes Finn Bullers of the daily Kansas City
Star
. The service also will send notice of advance
voting or polling place changes to cell phones, computers, or
iPods. It’s likely a smart way to reach a demographic that’s
historically proven difficult to mobilize on Election Day. So
far, says Bullers, about 150 voters have signed up for text
messages and podcasts on the Johnson County website.

The tack isn’t limited to young people, or Kansas.
Working
Assets
, a socially conscious communications company, has
created a ‘Your
Vote Matters
‘ campaign to bring voter registration to mobile
technology. Future voters can register by text-message or online at
govote.org, and
send a registration reminder to friends’ phones. The nonpartisan
system works in most states excluding North Dakota, New Hampshire,
and Wyoming.

Go there >>
Election Alerts Aimed at Youth

Go there too >>
Govote.org

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