You’re running out of excuses to not vote in November.
Or, at the very least, your excuses to not be registered are dwindling. From Google’s new registration search feature to a new chatbot based tool called HelloVote, the impetus to exercise your civic duty this year is stronger (and more technologically driven) than ever. HelloVote is a new bot that helps people with smartphones (72 percent of American adults, according to Pew Research Center) register to vote for the new president in just seven weeks. Capable of registering voters in every state in the U.S., the bot promises to be as efficient as it is easy, taking just 90 seconds to register the average voter.
Starting Thursday, those who wish to take part in the democratic process can go to hello.vote, text 384-387 on their smartphone, or go to m.me/hellovote in Facebook Messenger to begin registering. The tool is meant to help millennials and minorities, two groups that are slated to have a massive impact on the results of this historic election.
“HelloVote takes the registration process right to the voter — instead of the other way around, and may make millennials, immigrants, and communities of color the decisive game-changers in this closely contested election up and down the ballot by leveraging up-to-date technology and social media,” HelloVote said in a statement its product launch.
The bot has the support of a number of big names across industries, including MTV, General Assembly, SEIU, Latino Victory Project, West Elm, and Twilio, whose CEO signed an open letter decrying Trump’s presidential bid this summer. HelloVote’s supporters have pledged to help raise awareness about the new registration tool.
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“Democracy depends on participation, and technology has the power to significantly reduce barriers that have traditionally stopped people from voting,” said Twilio VP Patrick Malatack in a statement. “By making it easier for people to sign up from anywhere, on any mobile phone with no internet required, HelloVote has streamlined the voter registration process. We are excited to see more people getting out and voting in 2016 as a result of this valuable service.”
Ultimately, HelloVote seeks to bring the rather antiquated voter registration process into the 21st century, explained co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng in an interview with Refinery 29. “Voter registration can be pretty difficult and something that most people don’t love to do. At the same time, we’re at a point in history when messaging is the way that people communicate and how they get their news,” she said. “So we’re really bringing voter registration up to the modern times.”
Cheng concluded, “People are texting all day, every day. Now, they can use what they do every day to register to vote.”