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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

Voter Registration

Entered in Social Good Campaign


The objective for our voter registration program was registering as many eligible young people (18-25 yr olds) to vote as possible, creating the habit and turning them into lifelong voters. The voting process is confusing even to experienced voters; as new voters, young people are likely to be unfamiliar with some of the complexities of our electoral process. We utilized the insights that we've gained with over 25 years of working with young people to mobilize millions to the polls and help them "Lose Their V-Cards" (the V stands for voting!). Our campaign registered nearly 120,000 new voters and helped mobilize over 4.2 million others to the polls with localized resources and messaging.

Two main gaps exist when it comes to voter registration: informational and motivational. Overall, young people self-report that they're registered to vote when they aren't at rates much higher than the general population. For instance, only ~40% of young people who said they were registered actually were, compared to 75-80% of the general population.

Additionally, a 2015 Harvard poll showed that only 1 in 3 young people agreed that "voting is a part of who I am." In tandem with providing digestible information, there's a clear directive to show young people that voting matters and address this motivational gap to turn them out to the polls. By developing cross-channel content and using social media for good, we addressed both these gaps and contributed to the historic youth voter turnout in the 2018 midterm elections.

Strategy and Execution

DoSomething has unique access to groups of young people that aren't typically messaged in voter outreach. In the pursuit of empowering all young people, we operated across channels to reach young people where they were.

Digital Marketing: Our unique, iterative, and cross-channel digital strategy, which operated across Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and Bing, enabled us to convert at approximately 10% of the cost of a typical voter registration. By re-targeting our existing membership of 6 million members as well as opening the top of the funnel, we motivated hundreds of thousands of young people where they natively were: social media.

Niche Influencers: By working with micro-influencers and activating their tribes, we reached communities on Twitter and Instagram that we would not have been able to otherwise. For instance, while we worked with both Periscope/Twitter influencer extraordinaire Jovan Hill who was able to register hundreds of voters in 1-2 posts. Other youth influencers included actor Marcus Scribner, indigenous and climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, and transgender and disability rights activist Chella Man.

Content Strategy: Amplifying our editorial and video content was a key component of our social strategy to motivate young voters across the country. Distributing our flagship video "The Youth Wave," named one of the top videos of the 2018 midterms by Mashable, cross-channel was critical to demonstrating to young people their collective power if they show up to vote.

National Absentee Ballot Day: Millions of young people vote by absentee ballot, but it is not celebrated nearly as much as showing up to the polls on Election Day. To change that, we launched the first-ever National Absentee Ballot Day, a celebration of all voters who cast their ballot before Election Day. Along with hosting a successful Reddit AMA, we amplified voters across social media with pickup from Secretaries of State, Cheddar, and PopSugar.


In our first concerted voter registration effort, we registered over 118,000 new voters and helped mobilize over 4.2 million others to the polls with localized resources and messaging. Our work contributed greatly to the highest youth voter turnout in a midterm election for over 25 years.

Our work with influencers and brands on social media channels had a reach of over 51 million, spreading the simple message that regardless of who you vote for, voting matters.


Video for Voter Registration

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