The Atlantic

Why Is Uber Begging Me to Vote?

Brands have found a new way to insert themselves into democracy.
Source: Paul Spella / Getty / The Atlantic

I have recently been reminded, asked, or commanded to vote approximately 6 million times. These nudges have come from the people and places I’d expect—candidates, local officials, civic and political organizations—but also, more so than in any other election year I remember, from the places I wouldn’t. Uber, Nike, Postmates, the ticket service AXS, the New York Mets, and the fast-casual restaurant chain Dig have all reminded me to check my voter registration, at least once in the past two weeks. Others, including Amazon and the home-decor retailer Lulu and Georgia, have nestled links to voting information in their usual marketing emails. Seemingly every time I open Facebook or Instagram, I am greeted by a notification about the importance of voting.

Voting advocacy from people outside of traditional politics isn’t particularly new in the United States—the nonprofit Rock the Vote first partnered with MTV in 1990, producing videos with celebrities such as Madonna and Janet Jackson that implored the network’s young that reached a fever pitch this year. All summer, after the killing of George Floyd, brands that sell everything from lipstick to digital surveillance technology weighed in on racism and police violence—even those that .

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