Can Instagram Thirst Traps Save Our Democracy? 'Your Voting Date' Thinks It's Worth A Try.

"Since young people are always dating, we thought this would be a fun way to get people to the polls."

The midterm elections are on Nov. 6, and while millennials (people age 18 to 35) make up roughly 31 percent of the electorate, they've historically had the lowest voter turnout of any age group. In the 2016 presidential election, for example, only 51 percent of millennials voted, compared to 63 percent of Gen X-ers and 69 percent of Baby Boomers. 


A junior creative team at McCann New York, Kyle Harrison and Ezequiel Consoli, hope to change that by meeting millennials where they are — and where they meet each other — on Instagram. The duo created "Your Voting Date," an Instagram-driven effort that asks eligible voters (and bachelors/bachelorettes) to use social media, as well as dating apps, to land a date for election day. 

 "Let's face it, standing in line for an hour doesn't sound too fun. We believe the boring process of voting is a big reason young people don't do it," Consoli told A Plus. "And since young people are always dating, we thought this would be a fun way to get people to the polls." 

While the initiative is called 'Your Voting Date,' it's just about bringing a partner — any partner — to the polls. That could be a friend, a family member, a romantic suitor, or even a stranger, according to Consoli. "The process is simple: ask someone to be your voting date, then accompany them to the polls," he explained. "Spend the date waiting in line and bonding over a love of democracy." After all, nothing's cuter than doing your civic duty. 

The 'Your Voting Date" team hopes that by leveraging the power of the Instagram "thirst trap" for good, more young people will view voting as a sexy, social activity. "We know voting can be boring and it may feel like your vote doesn't matter, but we feel very strongly that voting is important, Consoli said. "We felt many people are willing to skip voting, but not many are willing to skip a date." Additionally, by being someone's voting date, those who can't vote due to citizenship reasons can still take part in the democratic process. 

And so far, it's working. "A lot of people are really enjoying the idea, and we've been getting some attention via social media which is great," he noted. "The only goal we have is to get people voting, so if we can make any difference there, we're happy." Several dating apps have even slid into Your Voting Date's Instagram DMs just to say they liked the idea, according to Consoli. The most notable one being OkCupid, which is co-sponsoring a "DTFind Your Voting Date" event with the Phluid Project. Taking place on Thursday, Nov 1 from 5:30 - 8:00 PM at The Phluid Project's NYC store, the networking event wants to bring people together to share drinks, fun, and a love of democracy. 


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