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22 October, 2018

‘Sí, Se Puede’. Spanish-Speaking Chatbots Offer Voter ID Advice.

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Voter ID regulations can be confusing - especially when English isn't your first language. They vary by state and often change at short notice. How can the latest Voter ID details be delivered to thousands of people, when they want it in the language of their choice, for the state where they plan to vote, by either SMS or Facebook? Background VoteRiders is a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2012 to educate and assist voters with voter ID issues. As people are increasingly relying on technology to get timely, personalized information, we are providing state-by-state voter ID information via social media, mobile devices and text messaging. As of 2016, around 40 million American citizens speak Spanish at home. Latino voters comprise one of the groups most at risk of facing barriers to obtaining ID to vote, so it is vitally important that information is available in Spanish about voter ID and where to access assistance if needed. Solution This is how VoteRiders and DemLabs use chatbots powered by commercially available technology from Google Dialog FlowTwilio and Facebook Messenger to meet this need. A visual breakdown of how Vote Riders works You can try it out for yourself by : 1. Texting "Hello" to 415-688-2920 2. Sending a Facebook Message to : https://www.facebook.com/VoteRiders You can also see a typical interaction below. (The chatbot is working very hard fielding Voter ID related inquiries before the mid-terms. So give it a few seconds to respond if it is slow. Thanks.) A video of a typical interaction with the Vote Riders chat bot.
Chatbot technology has advanced so that even small groups can set up simple SMS and phone call based chatbots for about $200/month. User-friendly application of technology to educate voters in a form that's convenient for them will increase participation. Contact us to learn how to apply chatbots for your cause. As the bots say "Sí, Se Puede!"
Deepak
Co-Founder, DemLabs DemLabs is a non-profit that applies innovation for progressive causes. Donate here to support our work.
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