Brands Want Your Vote to Matter

As we get closer to the election day by day, you might find that a lot of companies and brands are using their platforms to get people to register to vote. About 100 million eligible voters don’t cast their vote on who should represent them. People are turned off by politics or don’t know enough to have an established opinion on who to vote for, especially those in the age range of 18 and 24.  

Go to the Nike website or open the Postmates app and you would be met with a question along the lines of, “Are you registered to vote?” It comes to no surprise that the 2020 election is an extremely important election and in the case of many young voters who just registered to vote in the last two years, this will be the first presidential election they will be voting in.  

Sadly, it has fallen on the shoulders of marketing executives to spread awareness about voter registration and help people find resources to their state’s voting laws when in reality that weight should be carried by the government. Brands are not explicitly saying who you should vote for since that could cause partisan issues, but they are using their platforms and funds to get the word out. However, this only works to some extent because brands like Patagonia and Foot Locker are targeted towards people who are wealthier and more likely to be acquainted with politics.  

mail in ballot with mask by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash Photo by Tiffany Tertipes from Unsplash Facebook is the largest social media platform in the U.S. with 223 million American users, and estimates show it has helped 2.5 million people register to vote out of their goal of 4 million in the year 2020. Facebook also has a resources page for users to check their voter status or find out how to vote if they're overseas. While this goal seems small and unachievable, it shows a step in the right direction for people to learn more about how important their vote means to our democracy.

Another aspect of brand activism has to do with the employees. Not everyone has time in their work schedule to go and vote at the polls. After only 58% of eligible voters turned out for the 2016 election, more companies like Old Navy, Apple and Walmart are giving their workers the day off with paid leave to vote or even work at the polls.  Polling Station Elliot Stallion This is not the first time that brands have been active; in 1990 the nonprofit Rock to Vote partnered with MTV to create a video of celebrities like Madonna and Janet Jackson to persuade their young voters to go to the polls. Still, it's uncommon for so many brands to be spreading the word about voting.

Companies and executives that feel they have a moral obligation to encourage people to be an active participant in democracy are only doing so much to fix the issues that are prevalent in the American voting system. It will take action from all three branches of government to take steps like making Election Day a federal holiday or automatic voter registration to increase voter turnout. 

 

Photos: Her Campus Media Library

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