News and politics can be overwhelming, but voting in the Nov. 6 elections doesn’t have to be. California is unique because basic voter registration can be done completely online. And savvy developers are taking advantage by building websites and apps that make registering to vote and contacting local officials easy, effective and even entertaining.
If you want to get involved and have your voice heard, voting in local elections and midterms is the simplest yet most important thing you can do. These elections determine who moves on to higher government positions, who you’ll be able to vote for in national elections (like the Presidency) and who will be making the laws that affect you and those you love.
From felines to Bitmoji-esque avatars, check out these three websites and apps to help you exercise your right to democracy.
Last day to register to vote in the upcoming election is Oct. 22nd, so it’s not too late to check your status or spread the word.
This voter registration website appeals to lovers of all things cute. The cats at votemeow.us guide you step-by-step to your official state registration page by demanding belly rubs and reward you with meows when you complete a task. Adorable animations and sound effects are sure to have you in “awww” as you take the first big step towards doing your part.
If cats aren’t your thing, you can still be a hero by registering to vote at voterhero.com, which lets you make a statement with your very own customizable hero. Whether it’s a self-portrait or an original character, the result will look awesome, and can even reflect your personal cause or interest. Choices of attire range from hawaiian shirts to dragon tails and hijabs to Chun-Lee’s buns, and flags for a variety of social causes. Top off your hero with an animal sidekick and cool background, and you’re ready to register to vote online.
Stance is an easy to use downloadable app for both Apple and Android that helps you contact your representatives to have your voice heard. Many young people feel awkward talking on the phone or simply don’t have the time to constantly be leaving voicemails, but this app is perfect for you. Stance records your message and automatically sends it to your rep of choice repeatedly until it’s received. Simply put in your address and this app will show you who’s representing your district, and guide you on how to leave a voicemail with a simple template if you don’t know what to say.
Uber & Lyft
Though not created specifically for voting purposes, these everyday apps are making it easier for everyone to vote. According to recent reports, “15 million people didn’t vote in the 2016 election because of transportation issues”. Not only will both of these apps help you locate your local polling place and hook you up with other voter-friendly resources through the app, but both Uber and Lyft will be offering free and discounted rates to get people to the polls.
If transportation is still a potential hurdle, you can register with the option to vote-by-mail in every election by having your ballot sent directly to your home. All you need to do is to complete and sign the application and mail it to your local county elections office. The Secretary of State’s official government website has a specific page with all the information in one place to answer all your questions about this process.