(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
PHOENIX — One voter registration organization is bringing a whole new meaning to swiping left or right.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, dating app downloads have sky rocketed and NextGen America is using that to their advantage.
NextGen is a group focused on registering voters under the age of 35. Their goal is to register at least 30,000 young voters by the November election deadline.
Over the past several weeks, NextGen organizers have downloaded dating apps like Tinder or Bumble to engage with young, potential voters.
“People are pretty interested in what we’re doing and I think they’re looking for ways to get involved and we’re right there where they are,” NextGen organizer Alyssa Ogltre told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
NextGen organizers download these apps and create their profiles to engage with users.
“We let people know they are working with NextGen directly in the profile so there is no confusion and then we just swipe on people who are ages 18 to 35,” Ogletre said.
Ogletre is in a relationship so she’s currently using friendship seeking apps like Bumble BFF as to not mislead anyone.
From there, organizers begin to engage in conversations about voting and then send registration and petition links to interested matches.
NextGen tracks their results through UTM links, which helps them to trace interactions and eventual follow through on registration.
While NextGen is primarily aimed at registering voters, Ogletre has found engaging in conversations may actually improve voter turnout.
“Honestly, a lot of young people are already registered and their really confused about how to vote in this election,” she said.
People like Ogletre help their matches better understand their options and the different ways to vote.
“We’ve kind of become that place where you can make a voting game plan,” she said. “You can get your friends involved and you can be the one in your friend group that’s like, ‘hey, our polling place in Maricopa county is over here and let’s all carpool,’ or whatever it may be.”
While Ogletre said none of her fellow organizers have found a love match in the midst of engaging young voters, she has created several friendships and even helped some folks apply to eventually work for NextGen.