This work has been encouraging: In 2020 alone, our team helped over 1.2 million Snapchatters register to vote. According to data from Tufts University’s Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), of those Snapchatters we helped register in 2020, half were first-time voters and more than 80 percent were under the age of thirty.
But we also know that inspiring the next generation of leaders needs to be an always-on effort-not just for high-profile elections. So, we developed a feature that prompts Snapchatters to register to vote on their eighteenth birthday. More broadly, our voter engagement tools are available year-round, and our hope is that they help lay the groundwork for a lifetime of self-expression through civic engagement.
Looking ahead, we continue to innovate based on the feedback we receive from Snapchatters. After the 2020 presidential election, we heard from Snapchatters who were disappointed with the lack of candidates running on issues they care about. It makes sense. Representation matters, but for many young people, running for office seems unapproachable, confusing and financially unrealistic. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), legislators from the baby boomer generation have a disproportionate influence in America’s legislatures, with nearly twice as many members as their overall share of the US population. As a consequence, the gap between those who are governing us and their representation of the next generation of Americans keeps getting wider.