The use of buttons during political elections in the United States has been around since the election of George Washington in 1789.
While buttons have certainly changed in appearance over the years, the general purpose has remained the same: to make a bold display of support for a political candidate or specific issue (see: “I Like Ike”).
To help amplify your own bold display of support, Idomoo created the #WhyImVoting campaign to enable voters to create their own buttons.
While much of the country is still under strict lockdowns and many remain hesitant to venture out, traditional buttons don’t have quite the same reach of impact. These virtual buttons have evolved for the modern era; each is a customizable mini-video that allows voters to express their own particular views and opinions digitally, and can be shared with friends and family via any channel, including text, social media, and email. They also enable you to challenge a friend to vote, which helps spread the message and motivate people to register to vote. With these customizable buttons you’re able to encourage people to register and vote for the policies that matter the most to you, all from the comfort and safety of your own home.
The 2020 election has become one of the most charged elections in United States history, with our (debatably broken) political system drawing divisive lines between candidates and their respective parties. When the Covid-19 crisis and Black Lives Matter movement were added into the political fray, the result was the perfect storm of presidential crisis we’re experiencing today.
Voting has always been a hard and long-fought-for right, and the 2020 election has highlighted more than ever the necessity of the general population registering (and showing up) to vote in local, state, and federal elections.
Thankfully, voting has become increasingly more accessible throughout history.
To see just how far the United States has come, it’s helpful to take a look back to the beginning, where only white male, property-owning, Protestant citizens over the age of 21 were allowed to vote (1789). Over the following years, restrictions on voting changed for the better as laws were enacted to:
- remove religious prerequisites (1810)
- remove property-owning prerequisites (1856)
- remove the right to deny votes based “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” (1870)
- give women the right to vote (1920)
- prohibit poll taxes in federal elections (1964)
- forbid discriminatory voting restrictions (1965)
- lower the voting age to 18 (1971), and
- make voting materials available in multiple languages (1975)
This isn’t to say it’s been smooth sailing; to the contrary, there have been many setbacks in making voting accessible for all, including (but certainly not limited to) barring Native Americans from voting by labeling them as non-citizens (1876), later giving them citizenship only if they registered for military service (1919); preventing former slaves and male African Americans from voting through the use of poll taxes and literacy tests, among other disclusionary practices (even after the 15th Amendment – 1870); and disbarring people of Chinese Ancestry from becoming citizens, thus preventing them from voting (1882).
Some of those setbacks are still felt today, as is visible when looking at the disparity among registered voters by demographic – as well as disparity among those who actually showed up to vote (“Voting and Voter Registration as a Share of the Voter Population, by Race/Ethnicity”, KFF, 2018).
In the 2018 midterm elections, only 66.9% of those eligible to vote in the United States registered… and only 53.4% of them showed up to the polls.
When you look at the specific demographics – 71% of eligible White, non-Hispanic people registered to vote while only 57% showed up. 54% of those who identify as Asian registered; 41% voted. Of Black potential voters, 63% registered; only 50% voted. For Hispanics (of any race), 53% registered while only 40% showed up to vote.
This means for the 2020 Presidential Election we have a huge opportunity to not only increase voter registration among all demographics, but also to ensure our registered voters actually show up to the polls (or submit their absentee ballots).
By creating and sharing your own #WhyImVoting button, you can share specific voting and registration information by state, encourage your friends and family to vote, and share the ideals you’re most passionate about in the upcoming election.
With a little help, we can make sure 2020 has the highest voter turnout yet.