Social media and fashion companies encourage young voters to get to the polls

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Instagram, Tory Burch, ELLE magazine and others decided to promote voter registration and a trip to the polls on Nov. 6.

Tory Burch released a limited edition shirt with “VOTE” across the front. The fashion company created this shirt to urge young voters to cast their ballot.

“When we choose not to vote — when we choose not to facilitate voting by the broadest numbers of people possible — we risk weakening our democracy,” said Tory Burch in her blog, Tory Daily. “Voting is something we must never take for granted; it’s a pillar of our democracy.”

All net proceeds from the shirt sales benefit Eighteen x 18, a platform launched by actress Yara Shahidi. Shahidi is encouraging young adults to register to vote and cast their ballot in November.

Actress Camila Mendes wore the Tory Burch shirt on the red carpet at the LA Film Festival in September. On Instagram, she discussed her first time voting — which she did by mail from Canada.

“I think that celebrities and fashion companies promoting politics and voting is effective…it gets people thinking and talking,” said sophomore early childhood education major Allison Wade. “I believe that seeing these things can inspire people to get politically active regardless of political party.”

Instagram partnered with TurboVote to make voter registration easier for its users. By creating ads in its users’ feeds and stories, the platform allowed users to get all the voter registration information in just a few minutes.

The social media company also plans to provide a digital “I voted” sticker for its users to share on Election Day. The sticker will link to Get to the Polls website so users can find their voting locations.

“The push for voting on social media has affected me in a positive way,” Wade said. “Spreading the word and information on voting through social media is extremely smart because most young adults spend a lot of time scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”

ELLE magazine partnered with When We All Vote to make sure its readers are ready for Election Day. In its October issue, the fashion magazine had an article on why voting matters and a letter from the editor, Nina Garcia, on why the 2018 midterms matter.

According to the Voter Participation Center, voter participation is expected to drop 54.1 percent from 2016. Only 36 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot in the 2014 midterm election.

ELLE also published a webpage with links to all designer vote t-shirts, including the Tory Burch shirt.

“Because we are the next generation, I think it’s important for me to get in the habit of getting politically involved early and to educate myself on political issues and politics itself,” Wade said.