Did Technology Push You to Vote in This Year’s Midterm Elections?
Did you wake up this morning bombarded by a flood of #Election2014 or #iVoted hashtags in your newsfeed? If you did, you are not the only one. The 2014-midterm elections are finally upon us and, digitally, they’re a bigger deal than ever before.
If you’re off to the polls for today’s elections, there’s a good chance that the shared news on your Facebook feed encouraged you to get out there and vote. According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, “smart phones and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are playing a bigger role in how Americans get their political information.” These days, twice as many Americans are tracking election-related news on their electronic devices than they did just four years ago. The surge in social media use has encouraged Americans to more closely track the 2014 midterm elections by following political figures and news outlets via Twitter and Facebook.
In the same Pew survey, statistics found that “16% of registered voters said they follow politicians on social media, compared with the 6% who said they did so in 2010. The leap has been even bigger among middle-aged voters. Of registered voters from 30 to 49, 26% said they follow politicians online and 40% of whom said they’ve used their phones to help keep up with news about the elections.”
Your social media networks are following right in suit given these numbers. If you didn’t notice, Facebook has placed a banner atop your newsfeeds to remind you that it’s Election Day. If you have voted, you have the option to share with friends. This may likely sway them to vote as well. Feeds display an “I’m a voter” badge on Facebook users homepage’s which is designed to look different than information being shared on a daily basis. The banner also links to their specific precinct polling place.
Talk about social influence!
In case you’re not a political pundit and need further information on today’s elections, the Chicago Tribune has published a very informative “Guide to Election Day” which features the who, what, where, and when of everything you should know. Illinois polling stations are open from 6AM-7PM.
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