In 2016, millions of voters will register to cast ballots using their mobile devices.
20 states allow citizens to register electronically. The Boston Herald says that should precipitate a wave of state-run and third party mobile apps, along with a number of other innovations to boost voter engagement.
Forgetting to vote could become a thing of the past as well. TurboVote.org, a nonprofit civic startup dedicated to using technology to improve democracy, offers a digital tool that reminds voters via email and text message to send in their absentee or early voting ballot. It also reminds voters when and where they should go to cast their vote on election day.
The service came in handy for yours truly: Knowing I would be out-of-town on election day this year, TurboVote sent me emails to remind me that Nov. 3 was the last day to send in my absentee ballot.
Campaigns are stepping up their digital efforts. NGP VAN, a private tech company co-founded by a Cambridge progressive that now powers nearly every Democratic campaign, worked with the Democratic National Comittee to launch a developer portal for Democrats in August. That means a flurry of new liberal apps is likely to hit the iOS app store and Google Play by 2016.
Digital tools are also making it easier than ever for campaigns to act like advertisers — to know your habits and to tailor the outreach to those preferences. Old-school canvassing is being aided by these tools.