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Tech companies doing their part to get out the vote

pennsylvania paper trail voting machine people in booth
bizoon / 123RF Stock Photo
Silicon Valley is serious about getting out the vote on November 8. Companies are following Google’s lead in prompting people to register to vote. Some tech firms are joining national voter turnout initiatives. And a growing list of companies are making Election Day a day off, hoping their employees will vote, as reported by Silicon Beat.

Airbnb added a message on its U.S. website this past Saturday, the anniversary of the enactment of the Voting Rights Act, as reported on The Hill. “Join us in celebrating this historic day by registering to vote,” read the message. “Airbnb hosts and guests are engaged in the communities they call home and we believe that everyone should be able to participate in the crucial conversations that will shape the future of our country,” the company continued.

The TurboVote Challenge is a nonpartisan effort to achieve an 80-percent voter turnout by 2020. According to its website, “The TurboVote Challenge brings leading companies and organizations together in a nonpartisan, long-term commitment to increase voter participation. We help challenge participants develop programs rooted in universal civic values, strengthening employee engagement and relationships with communities and customers.” Airbnb, Lyft, and Salesforce are all supporting the TurboVote Challenge.

Microsoft, Twitter, and Tinder have partnered with Rock the Vote, a website that directly addresses millennials. The Rock the Vote website has voter registration and polling location info. Kendall Jenner and John Legend are featured on the Rock the Vote website. “Everyday we vote, we’re able to express our opinions online with ‘Likes’ and hashtags. But it hasn’t always been that easy, especially for women,” says Jenner. Legend’s quote reads, “Together we can decide to do something to protect our voting rights and help restore the right to vote for people who have lost it.”

A growing number of companies have joined the Take Off Election Day campaign. The list so far includes tech companies Twilio, TaskRabbit, Survey Monkey, AreoRS, Square, Spotify and DoorDash plus venture capital firms Cowboy Ventures and August Capital.

With the U.S. lagging behind other developed countries in voter participation — we are currently 31 out of 35 — there’s a lot of room for improvement. In 2012, according to Silicon Beat, only 54 percent of eligible voters went to the polls.

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