The first Presidential debate kicks off tonight, and as candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama prepare themselves to go at it on a number of issues, their campaign staffers are working diligently to increase votership. In 2012, more than any other election, campaign managers are using modern technology and new media to assist their own efforts.
Previously, this blog talked about how Romney and Obama are using SMS services to accept campaign donations. In Canada, organizations used text messaging alerts to remind voters to head to the polls on election day. Now, campaign offices are sending text messages to provide users with valuable information about the candidates and relevant election news.
For example, registered users could receive a text tonight reminding them to watch the debate. Tomorrow, links to videos and reactions could be sent via SMS messaging. These services keep the voting public in the know and spur interest in the election, but they must be conducted carefully.
In Virginia, voters have complained about receiving negative attack ads in the form of a text message, a service they did not sign up for. The Senate race between Tim Kaine and George Allen is heating up as we head towards November, but many recipients within the state – regardless of their political affiliation – have expressed dissatisfaction with the content of their texts.
One attack text stated "Tim Kaine calls for radical new tax on all Americans," a statement is both untrue and was deemed inappropriate for campaign texting.