Young people voted at a record rate in the last presidential election and it may be time for them to take the next step. Snapchat, the popular social media app for young people, is rolling out a new “Run for Office” in-app tool to encourage young adults to run for local office.
“Powered with information from BallotReady, this simple tool will help Snapchatters explore hundreds of opportunities to run for local office based on the issues they care most about — from city neighborhood board and township council to school board and state representative,” the company said in a statement.
The tool includes a centralized portal that curates over 75,000 upcoming elections on the federal, state and local levels that users may be eligible to take part in. Users will also be asked to identify issues that they are passionate about so the tool can surface roles that they may be interested in. The new tool also provides access to candidate recruitment organizations and training programs such as Emerge America, Women’s Public Leadership Network, Vote Run Lead and more.
This tool can help young people, even those in high school, take the first step of running for office.
“I think it’s a great idea to help get teenagers interested and aware of politics and how they can have a voice. Sometimes the step towards running for office and gaining knowledge seems far out of reach, but it is a very accessible avenue. Almost every one of my peers and friends use snapchat and by promoting those positions on a widely accessible platform will really reach its target audience - teenagers,” said TUSD student representative Kate Ogden.
Snapchat users will also be able to nominate their friends to run for office through the tool. Users will be able to share stickers through the tool to start campaigning on Snapchat with their friends. The tool also includes a personalized campaign hub that shows users the steps they need to take to get on the ballot. The hub also provides information about filing deadlines and signature requirements.
Snap says its app reaches 90 percent of 13 to 24-year-olds in the U.S. and that this gives it an opportunity to encourage young users to become engaged citizens. Any Snapchat user in the U.S. can now access Run for Office by swiping down on the app’s camera screen or by searching for the tool within Snapchat.
“We know this next generation is the most diverse, yet currently only 6 percent of state legislators are under the age of 35. We hope our Run for Office initiative will help shape a more equitable, and reflective, democracy that includes all Americans, including young people,” the company said.