Millennials make up almost half of Latinos eligible to vote in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center. Yet a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll reveals that only 44 per cent of Latinos say they plan to vote in November. That compares to 70 per cent of Whites who say they will vote.
Feet in 2 Worlds developed the Unidos mobile app specifically to encourage young Latinos to register, vote, and become informed voters. Unidos is now in the app store and ready for download to iPhones.
Since we began covering elections in 2008, Latino voters have been an area of special interest for Fi2W. Over the years the number of Latinos who register and vote has risen across the country, and Latino voters are widely credited with being a pivotal factor in the past two presidential elections. But no one has discovered the magic formula that gets Latinos to vote in proportion with the rest of the U.S. population.
Why a mobile app? We thought it was time to see if public service journalism can break through the barriers to a dramatic increase in Latino voter participation. The Unidos mobile app focuses on young Latinos, who, like millennials of all ethnic backgrounds, get most of their information online, much of it on their phones. The app features a curated newsfeed of articles, radio stories and videos from a wide range of sources.
But that’s just the beginning. Unidos has lots of shareable content. There is a gallery of custom-designed emojis with messages about voting and civic engagement in Spanish and English. There are extensive guides to voting, registration, and what to do if you encounter problems at your polling station. There’s even information on how to become a U.S. citizen. All of these are introduced by short videos, which are also shareable on social media.
These fun and informative features are the 21st Century versions of the guides, advice columns, and puzzles that have long been staples of newspapers.
Feet in 2 Worlds will continue to produce radio stories and web articles, as we have for over a decade. But we also want to remain on the cutting edge of journalism. The Unidos mobile app allows us do that while also providing a public service to our audience.
Download the Unidos app here.
Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation, the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation, an anonymous donor and readers like you.
The Unidos mobile app is made possible by generous contributions to a crowd source fundraising campaign on Beaconreader and a grant from the J.M. Kaplan Fund.