UK Turns To Snapchat To Boost Young Voter Turnout In Special Election

UK Turns To Snapchat To Boost Young Voter Turnout In Special Election
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The UK Electoral Commission is looking for new ways to reach out to first-time voters

Leo Lutero
  • 25 may 2017

A location-specific custom Snapchat filter was the UK Electoral Commissions newest way to reach out to voters. This is in response to voters below 30 having a consistently disappointing turnout in the previous years. By joining the ranks of the doggy and flower crown filters, the UK Electoral Commissions could be delivering the message to those who need it the most.

The filter was released April 17, exactly a week from the closing of the registration period. On it was simple call-to-action for people to go out and register at the Commission’s website. In the United Kingdom, the Commission says, over 10 million people use Snapchat daily. It also cited a real need to reach out to younger voters, aged 18-34, of which 31% of which have not registered to their systems.

The local election is a gigantic affair in the United Kingdom. The 2016 election was to fill 2,700 seats in 124 authorities. For this year, there were round 10,000 candidates vying for a position. But this behemoth task is met with a shrug, voter turnouts can fall below 20% in some areas of England.

Snapchat’s geo-tagged filters are goldmines to the platform’s commercialization. Running a nationwide Snapchat filter campaign can cost up to $500,000 per day and it climbs to $700,000 during major events (ie Superbowl, the election), Wallaroomedia reports.

The high ROI has attracted politics before. Recall the Trump VS Clinton debate, when one camp decided to sponsor a “Donald Trump Vs. Crooked Hillary” filter. But the cost isn’t much of a worry for the UK Electoral Commission. Business Insider reports the government agency got placement for free.

The impact of the filters is still unknown. The Electorial Commission is yet to release the statistics, as it does every year after each election. Facebook also took part in the drive. Newsfeeds in the UK had banners reminding users to register before the deadline.

Social media, platforms of user-generated content, have evolved into strong democracies. For example, in the US presidential elections, its impact is eerily impossible to gauge. But the choice is always up to the user: doggy ears or civil duty?

UK Electoral Commissions

A location-specific custom Snapchat filter was the UK Electoral Commissions newest way to reach out to voters. This is in response to voters below 30 having a consistently disappointing turnout in the previous years. By joining the ranks of the doggy and flower crown filters, the UK Electoral Commissions could be delivering the message to those who need it the most.

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+UK
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