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Virgin America Creates A Mile-High Club For Civic Participation

The airline is offering flyers a chance to register to vote while in flight.

Virgin America Creates A Mile-High Club For Civic Participation
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Virgin America, everyone’s favorite multinational British airline, is getting downright patriotic this U.S. election cycle. Its flights have sported presidential impersonators on the new route between San Francisco and Washington, D.C.; red, white, and blue check-in lines so “both sides of the aisles win“; and now voter registration at cruising altitude.

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Virgin is teaming up with Rock the Vote, an organization dedicated to youth political engagement, and the marketing company PromoJam, for a digital voter registration in mid-air. Flyers can call up a Rock the Vote option on their seat-back screens, scan an QR code, and place themselves on the voter rolls before the November 6 presidential election.

It’s part of a larger shift away from clipboards and volunteers at grocery stories toward technology, reports the AP. Several states are passing more restrictive voter registration laws, and groups like the NAACP–fighting to boost voter registration among minorities and younger populations on election day–are using technology to deliver applications to voters directly.

“This is a new effort since the 2000 election,” University of Florida political scientist Daniel Smith told the AP. ‘‘Technology has made it more cost-effective. … When you have upwards of 40 percent of eligible populations not registered, there is a market for this kind of work.’”

About the author

Michael is a science journalist and co-founder of Publet: a platform to build digital publications that work on every device with analytics that drive the bottom line. He writes for FastCompany, The Economist, Foreign Policy and others on science, economics, and the environment. His favorite topics are wicked problems -- and discoveries such as how dung beetles rely on the light of the Milky Way to navigate (and all that says about the human condition on Earth)

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