Electoral Commission to use Snapchat to attract young voters

The Electoral Commission has enlisted social media app Snapchat in an attempt to encourage young voters to register for the local government elections.

The number of young voters remains far below those aged 65 or over. Picture: John Devlin
The number of young voters remains far below those aged 65 or over. Picture: John Devlin

A new voter registration “geofilter” has been launched to remind users to register for the May 4 vote before the deadline on Monday April 17.

The filter, or art overlay, can be added to images taken and shared through the social network.

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Next month marks the first Scotland-wide set of council elections that 16 and 17-year-olds are eligible to vote in but research by the Electoral Commission shows that young people are less likely to be registered than older voters.

Snapchat are adding a new 'geofilter' option. Picture: Contributed

Only 69 per cent of 18-34 year-olds are correctly registered across Britain compared to 96 per cent of those aged 65 and over.

Andy O’Neill, head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland, said: “Working with Snapchat gives us a fantastic opportunity to reach a typically under-registered audience and let young people in Scotland know that they can use their voice in these elections.

“However, they need to be registered by April 17. It only takes a few minutes to register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Snapchat are adding a new 'geofilter' option. Picture: Contributed

The commission is also working with social networks Facebook and Nextdoor to encourage voter registration.