“Millennials don’t vote.”
My first semester “Government and Politics” professor and my current writing professor agree with this common phrase. This ideology illustrates a part of the low voter turnout problem that continues to plague the United States with each passing election.
There are thousands of excuses that potential voters come up with to justify their failure to get to their respective polling places. The absentee ballot process is hard to navigate, voting schedules aren’t during convenient time periods and a lot of the time, and voters don’t agree with any of the views of prospective presidents. One year, my mother didn’t vote because the line at our local polling place was moving too slowly, and we needed to make it to a funeral.
When I turned 18 at the beginning of my senior year of high school, I immediately filled out my register forms so that I’d be good to go for November’s state elections. Come November, I went to my nearest public elementary school after classes ended to vote. I was the only one in my polling place under the age of 50. When I turned in my ballot, the volunteer worker said that my mother needed to turn in her own. To her surprise, I politely corrected her and explained that I was 18 and doing my civic duty. She told me that I had been the only 18 year old to come in to vote the entire day.
There is clearly an epidemic that continues to sweep the nation with every year that goes by. Even though initiatives are used to create more hype for elections, success numbers are hard to track and voter turnout numbers continue to decline. But apps like Tinder are hoping to change this.
Tinder launched a new feature Wednesday called “Swipe the Vote,” which tells users which presidential candidate they are most compatible with in terms of political views.
Swipe the Vote uses Tinder’s signature swipe attribute to ask users questions on everything spanning from social issues to the economy and national spending. After swiping right or left (which equates to yes or no) on all the questions, Tinder informs the user which candidate they would be most inclined to vote for.
Tinder’s new voting advocacy initiative hopes to encourage potential voters to register after taking the survey. The app also specifically targets millennials, who make up the demographic that Tinder caters to and the population that votes the least.
Swipe the Vote is attempting to do what many political analysts think is nearly impossible: getting millennials to vote. As a 19-year-old college student, I feel it is my duty to vote, and I would love for peers to think the same. Imagine the policy changes that could be made. Think about candidates legitimately campaigning toward the needs of college students and twentysomethings. Millennials could change the country and they haven’t even realized it yet.