In the United States, both major presidential candidates are utilizing SMS technology to receive donations for their campaigns. Canada is also using SMS services to complement various elections, but rather than accept donations the country focused on encouraging voter turnout.
Earlier this month, registered users received a message reminding them to head to the polls and elect their officials. On September 6, the provincial electoral district of Kitchener-Waterloo held a byelection and, as is the case in many lesser elections, the voter turnout was feared to be minimal. To spur turnout, Waterloo implemented a service that reminded individuals to vote.
Nathan Vexler, an IT specialist at the University of Waterloo, developed an online registration form that requested the registrant's mobile phone number. Those who entered the information received a text on election day telling them to vote and the hope was that this would increase turnout from demographics that typically refrain from voting.
"We're looking at a demographic that doesn't get the vote out," Vexler told the online publication The Record.
With the presidential election only a few weeks away, many organizations such as Rock the Vote are increasing their efforts to spur turnout. Typically, major elections such as this aren't starving for voters, but the numbers could always be higher. This is a tremendously valuable use of text alert services as it relays a valuable message to a large number of people in a short amount of time.
Organizations looking to deliver information such as reminders to a large volume of recipients would benefit from a service such as this. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools companies need to launch effective text message campaigns.