Today’s the day to vote (and creepily figure out who else has)

Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 by User Not Found

We do truly hope you made the time today (or sometime this election season) to get out and vote. We even made an Election Guide containing all the candidates we’ve endorsed to make it easier for you.

So, voting is important. This midterm matters, especially here in Ohio with all the major positions in our state vacant. You know all this stuff, right? Good.

If you’ve already made time to cast your vote, now it’s time to turn your attention toward making sure all your friends, family members, acquaintances, kids’ teachers and coaches, dentists, mechanics, and librarians do, too.

How?

VoteWithMe and OutVote, two mobile apps that are aiming to use peer pressure to ensure people get out to vote, are now available for Android and iOS. How it works: Basically, once you download the app, it will comb through your contacts and, according to the New York Times, “let you snoop on which of your friends voted in past elections and their party affiliations – and then prod them to go to the polls by sending them scripted messages like ‘You gonna vote?’”

Editor’s note: VoteWithMe’s motto is “Flip the House” and OutVote’s is “Take Back Congress.” So, in case you couldn’t tell from that alone, the default setting in both is to find your friends who are registered democrats first. You must change the filter settings on your own to find your friends registered as republicans. Neither app claims to be nonpartisan.

As a reminder, who Americans vote for is kept private, but the other information available in their voter profile is public information (depending on the state), and can include details like name, address, phone number and party affiliation when they have voted.

Naseem Makiya, chief executive of OutVote, told the Times, “I don’t want this to come off like we’re shaming our friends into voting. I think a lot of people might vote just because they’re frankly worried that their friends will find out if they didn’t.”

Which sounds exactly like shaming your friends into voting.

Still, as we stated above, we do believe voting is important, so maybe this is the next generation’s way of gently reminding each other the same.

What do you think? Is this a massive invasion of privacy? Or, just a cool way technology is helping young Americans remind each other to participate in the democratic process? Let us know in the comments!


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