O2 to launch ‘first-time’ voter service

Mobile phone company O2 is launching a service this week, in partnership with the Electoral Commission (EC), to encourage customers to vote in the forthcoming election.

A mobile portal has been created for O2 Active subscribers that contains information about the election process, including instructions on how to vote, directions to polling stations, and answers to other questions about the election.

It is claimed the site will have no political content and was set up after a poll of 3,000 O2 Active users aged between 18 and 24 showed that only 38 per cent intended to vote. The company, which has 3.8 million O2 Active subscribers, says the portal is aimed at first-time voters.

The EC, which provided O2 with the information, says that although it has been encouraging people to vote using online resources, this is the first time it has been involved in a mobile phone initiative.

EC campaigns manager Becky Lloyd says getting young people to vote and communicating with them through media they understand is important. She stresses that the relationship with O2 is non-commercial.

EC is engaged in a &£4m awareness drive, created by St Luke’s and planned by COI Communications procurement, designed to increase voter turnout in the election.

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