Hola! Mobile Voter!

Posted by justinoberman on Jul 20, 2006

Picture 8-2 Voto Latino, a non-partisan youth voter registration organization aimed at Latino youths has teamed up with Mobile Voter, a San Francisco non-profit dedicated to harnessing the power of text messaging and mobile technology to drive youth oriented voter registration. Apparently, the Latino group was so impressed by the way in which young Hispanics used text messages and SMS to rally at immigration protests this spring that they have made it their goal to sign up at least 35,000 Hispanic youths nationwide using Mobile Voter's SMS services .

Hispanics make up about 14 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for only 6 percent of voters in 2004, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. About 34 percent of Hispanics are under 18.

The text message initiative will allow Hispanic cell phone users to text "Voto Latino" to a designated short code in which they receive an immediate response from Voto Latino with instructions on how to get a voter registration form. The magic that Mobile Voter has tapped is the ability to do this anywhere. Whether initiated at a Baseball Game, concert or playground Mobile Voter has, to quote Ben Rigby the organizations founder (and fellow MobileActvist), made "interacting with a government process simpler and more accessible.

Mobile Voter even has the capability to track whether they actually registered to vote and if they did not it can send reminders. It can also send out reminders to go and vote on election days.

Hopefully, some of the youth users will also take the time to forward the message to their friends.

More than 207 million Americans own cellular phones, according to the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association.

The popularity of text messages is surging among Americans: During December 2004, the number of monthly text messages was 4.8 billion; by December 2005, that number increased to 9.8 billion, according to the group.

The use of the technology is even more prevalent among youth and Hispanic cell phone users. About 65 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-29 use text messaging; 54 percent of Hispanics use the technology. By comparison, only about 35 percent of the general population does, according to a recent study by the Pew Internet &; American Life project.

"You've marched," says Maria Teresa Petersen, executive director of Voto Latino. "Now you've got to register and now you've got to vote."

[via azCentral


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that is certainly not the correct place, but the side ( your sidebar menu) is indicated wrongly in IE and in Firefox. Greets 3dsl Eugen


the short code is 75444 and the keyword is "Represent" not "Voto Latino"

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