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There’s an app for that

New app aims to get millennials registered to vote

A new app called VotePlz aims to make it easy for millennials to register to vote.

Voter registration deadlines are fast approaching (you’ve got until Oct. 19, Massachusetts), and all parties involved are racing to get names on the rolls — or, at least, that’s the idea.

But if you can believe it, those elusive millennials are proving reliably difficult to corral toward the voting booths. And that’s bad news: According to a Pew study of census data, these 18- to 35-year-olds make up 31 percent of the voter pool — that’s neck and saggy neck with the boomers. More striking: Only 46 percent of them voted in 2012.

Whipping this demographic into electoral shape will require feats of extreme convenience, and that’s where VotePlz comes in. A nonpartisan nonprofit launched by Erika Reinhardt, Ari Weinstein, Fouad Matin, and Sam Altman (president of startup incubator Y Combinator), VotePlz aims to be “literally the easiest way to vote.” The app (and companion site) allows you to easily connect with online registration services; and where those don’t exist, VotePlz will generate a (postage-paid!) registration form that you can download and drop in the mailbox.

PRO Refer friends to the site to check their registration status and not only will you climb the leaderboard, you’ll be entered into the VotePlz sweepstakes. Twenty grand prize winners will receive up to $50,000 in student debt forgiveness, up to $50,000 in scholarship money, or $25,000 in cash. (Another 2,000 will score $20 prepaid gift cards.) Why can’t voting work this way?


CON Voting doesn’t work this way. While VotePlz makes registering a breeze, the actual voting part still means showing up to your polling place on Election Day. If you require an app to make that happen, might I suggest Fasten?


Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at mbrodeur@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.