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Social media application Snapchat is rolling out a new platform to help its users launch political campaigns.
According to Snap — the California-based company behind Snapchat — “Run for Office” will help digital natives across the United States actively engage with democracy:
Powered with information from BallotReady, this simple tool will help Snapchatters explore hundreds of opportunities to run for local office based on the issues they care most about — from City Neighborhood Board and Township Council to School Board and State Representative.
We know this next generation is the most diverse, yet currently only 6% of state legislators are under the age of 35. We hope our Run for Office initiative will help shape a more equitable, and reflective, democracy that includes all Americans, including young people.
Run for Office will let users “identify a set of issues they are passionate about.” The app will then filter through a curated list of 75,000 upcoming federal, state, and local elections to “surface roles they may be interested in.”
Through Snapchat, which reaches 90% of Americans between the ages of thirteen and twenty-four, users can also “nominate friends to run for office” and connect with candidate recruitment organizations across the political spectrum — including the LGBTQ Victory Institute, Emerge, and Run GenZ.
During the 2020 election, Snapchat reportedly registered 750,000 young people to vote, recruiting Snoop Dogg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former President Obama to promote National Voter Registration Day.
Twenty-four-year-old Iowa State Rep. Joe Mitchell (R-IA) — a co-founder of Run GenZ — told NPR that he wants to see young people “having a seat at the table, being equally represented” at all levels of government.
A’Shanti Gholar of Emerge — which works to elect Democratic women — likewise told the outlet: “One of the things that I love about the youngest generation of voters, especially when it comes to running for office, being politically engaged, making their voices heard, is that they’re not asking for permission, that they are just doing it.”
Polling reveals that Gen Z — the young adults and teenagers born between 1997 and 2008 — generally lean toward the political Left. For example, a Morning Consult survey shows that only 19% hold a negative view of Critical Race Theory, while 31% hold a negative view about capitalism. Meanwhile, only 24% see socialism in a negative light.
The same survey reveals, however, that Gen Z is more opposed to “cancel culture” than any other generation. 55% of Gen Z disagrees with the movement — in contrast to 50% of Baby Boomers.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Iowa State Rep. Joe Mitchell is 21-years-old. He is 24.