Originally published as Rock the Vote Goes Mobile on Technorati Politics
Credit for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential win was in large part due to the youth vote, which was a big reason voter turnout back in ’08 was the highest since 1960 according to Fair Vote. Back then – Senator Obama’s platform emphasized change, hope and an idealistic view of the political process that resonated with the 18-29 year old demographic. And they provided him with 66% support according to an article in nextgen Journal.
As the nation turns it’s attention to this years general election, marked by the first of three debates between incumbent Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, the question lingers as to whether the youth vote will be turning out the way they did back in ’08. While Obama supporters certainly hope so, a recent reportput out by the Center for the American Electorate predicts turnout of the youth vote to decline significantly this election year.
In an effort to battle voter apathy, Rock the Vote who has been advocating increasing turnout of younger voters the past 21 years, has announced it’s using some new mobile technologies as part of it’s “We Will” out-of-home media campaigns.
Part of this includes using what is called NFC, or near field communications to, “…engage consumers in a personal way by combining out-of-home media messaging and smartphone capabilities” according to Mikhail Damiani, CEO and co-founder of Blue Bite, who will be executing the mobile portion of the campaign for Rock the Vote. Blue Bite’s proprietary platform called mTAG® will provide some innovative features designed to execute on the Rock the Vote’s campaign goals of motivating youth to vote and shape the future, rather than merely accepting it.
Blue Bite’s technology will utilize NFC to enable bus shelter posters to become interactive, allowing smartphone users to scan them and register to vote immediately, without the need to download any other application. “We recognized that thought-provoking content, whether static with mobile layering on the street or digital in place-based venues, would invigorate ‘We Will’ in the most perceptible way,” said Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote.