Snapchat has launched a new tool with the aim to guide its users base of youth to consider running for political office.
The company says that with this move they want to help future candidates deal with common political campaigns barriers. They will do this by providing them with resources, information, and encouragement.
The Run for Office Mini is a miniature application set and runs within Snapchat. It allows Snapchat users to explore important issues and find information about political offices near them.
The company will also help them connect to candidate recruitment organizations, including New Politics, Run for Something, Run GenZ, and the LGBTQ Victory Institute. These organizations will be able to provide them with training and resources to prepare for a campaign.
The Snapchat tool has a portal based on BallotReady’s API. This allows users to find issues that are important to them and includes information on upcoming elections on the state, federal, and local levels.
Once the user selects the issue, the app surfaces potential fitting roles and a campaign dashboard, This will show users what steps they need to take to get on a ballot, including signature requirements and filing deadlines.
Moreover, they’ll be able to share stickers within the app from the portal to “campaign” and share their candidacy with their Snapchat friends. They can also “nominate” friends who they think have the potential to be future leaders and encourage them to run.
Previously, in 2018, the company added voter registration within its app, and in 2020, the company introduced in-app features including a voter guide and checklist.
In 2020, the company claimed that with its efforts they helped more than 1.2 million users register to vote and half of those were first-time voters. Also, the in-app voter education tools were estimated used by more than 30 million Snapchat users.
Run for Office Tool builds on the work Snap did in a partnership with the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College.
“We hope to launch the ‘Run for Office’ mini changes the idea of who can be in office — that no matter who you are, where you come from, that you can make a difference in your local community by running for office based on the issues they care most about,” said Sofia Gross, Snap’s head of policy partnerships and social impact.
Snapchat believes that they have an important and long-term role to play in encouraging the next-gen leaders to run for office.
She further added, “We want to help shape a more reflective and equitable democracy for all Americans, and that includes the Snapchat Generation — we can’t wait to see all they will do.”