News ID: 233831
Published: 0535 GMT November 04, 2018

Social media, tech firms urging US citizens to vote

Social media, tech firms urging US citizens to vote

Social media and tech companies in the US say they are doing more to boost voter turnout for next Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections, as the voter participation rate in US elections has been decreasing in recent decades.

Facebook, Twitter, Snap and other firms say they are reminding users to vote and offering a guide for identifying the correct polling place, ballot items and hours.

Only about 17 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the previous congressional elections in 2014, Presstv Reported.

The general trend in voter turnout for American elections has been decreasing for all age groups, but young people's participation has taken the biggest nosedive. Some opinion polls say the voting proportion could be much higher this year.

Democrats are generally favored to win the 23 seats they need to wrest the majority from Republicans in the US House of Representatives, according to opinion polls and nonpartisan forecasters.

If Democrats gain the majority in the House, they could block President Donald Trump’s agenda of hardline immigration policy and other Republican positions that are anathema to Democrats.

Republicans have a stronger chance of keeping control of the Senate.

Snap, a technology and camera company based in Santa Monica, California, said it would send a rare blast message to all of its US users on election day, November 6. The message will include the link to poll location information.

Facebook and other social media will also provide links to poll locations and prompt people to signal to their friends when they’ve voted.

Studies show that this year’s election is on course to become the most expensive in US history with an estimated cost of $5.2 billion in campaign spending, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That is around $1.5 billion more than the 2014 midterm votes.

Trump has intensified his divisive rhetoric as part of an overt attempt to rally white supporters to voting stations and preserve the Republican majority in Congress.

This year’s elections have turned into an all-out war that has already raised the alarms about the beginning of a dark chapter in the history of US politics.

Trump, with the help of many Republican congressional candidates, has dramatically escalated his efforts to take advantage of racial divisions and cultural fears in the final days of the midterm election campaign.

Many Republican congressional candidates, from Connecticut to California, have followed Trump’s lead in the use of inflammatory messages, including an ad branding a minority Democratic candidate as a national security threat and a mailer visually depicting a Jewish Democrat as a crazed person with a wad of money in his hand.

 

 

   
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