To put it bluntly, this is one of the most important US Presidential elections most Americans have ever lived through. In a time that feels more divisive than anyone can remember, the importance of upholding our democracy and going out to vote cannot be overstated. Therefore, communication during election season is more vital than ever because simply saying ‘Go vote!’ doesn’t really encourage people to jump out of their seats and into the polls. Case in point: in 2016, only 55 percent of the voting population cast their ballot.
This election season, our team at SMS have been closely watching the companies, groups, and individuals taking the time to communicate and inform people on their voting rights, the voting registration process, early voting, and more. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite efforts, from Uber to our very own City of Miami, that we feel will make all the difference come November 3rd.
- Get Out the Vote 2020: Get Out the Vote efforts in 2020 have been more widespread than ever before. From celebrity endorsements to comedy specials, a multitude of companies, nonprofit groups, and individuals are building creative campaigns to encourage all people to vote. Many influential celebrities – like Michelle Obama, Lebron James, and Oprah – have created their own voting campaigns that specifically target groups that have been historically discouraged from voting or had their vote suppressed. Oprah’s group Own Your Vote for example specifically champions the voices of Black women, connecting them to urgent political actions, giving their concerns a powerful microphone, and placing a spotlight on key community issues.
- Uber: The huge ride-share conglomerate certainly has a checkered past; but when it comes to encouraging their users to vote, they stand out in the best way. Uber offers a solution to one of the most pressing issues facing voting: a way to get to polling stations. The Uber app will help people find their polling location and offer discounted rides to and from the polls – a feature that the company created after the 2016 election because of how many eligible voters reported transportation as a barrier to voting. Apart from that, Uber has created other in-app features to support voting, like easy voter registration and vote-by-mail ballot requesting, as well as an option to volunteer at a polling station.
- City of Miami and Frost Science Museum: Although this decision hasn’t come without its fair share of controversy, Miami-Dade has designated the Frost Museum of Science as a new early-voting site in downtown Miami. This decision carries on the museum’s long history of serving as a voting location as its previous home in Coconut Grove served as a polling place for many years. That, together with its easy access to public transportation, helped county officials decide to make the Frost Museum a permanent addition to early voting sites in Miami-Dade.
This election is gearing up to be one a once-in-a-lifetime occasion; and luckily, some of the most influential brands and celebrities are treating it as such by educating and encouraging as many people as possible to vote. There’s still work to be done, but campaigns like these give us hope for the future. For everything you need to know about voting in Florida, please follow this link.