Today is one of the few days Americans actually get to exercise their most powerful civil right – the right to vote. Today is election day. In the 2004 and 2008 elections, young voters demonstrated they had a stronger voice in the popular elections than ever before – technology can definitely be attributed as a cause of this new trend.
But just how cool has voting become? And how popular will the youth vote be this year? Thanks to geolocation apps like Foursquare, voting is cooler than ever. This year, for example, if you “check-in” to a location on Foursquare when you vote, you get the “I Voted 2010” badge (forget that lame sticker your parents wore after voting during their lunch break from the office years ago). You also get the option to tell all your followers on Twitter that you voted. What could be more cool than not only sharing every detail of your life with your friends, while also creating social pressure to make sure that they vote, too?
It’s also easier than ever to vote with geolocation apps. This year with Foursquare, you can just check the iPhone or Android app for the closest polling place to your current location – Foursquare is keeping a database of polling locations and pushing these places to the top of the “Places” tab for today. Since these types of apps also give awards to “groups” of people checking into places, and for also checking into a place more than once, you may also be able to get a secondary badge or two for checking into a polling location. And who knows – it might even help a voter become “Mayor” of the polling location. (How’s that for some Election Day irony?)
Do you think Foursquare and other apps will directly increase interest in voting this year? Or we just a bunch of politically active narcissists?