2.5 million people voted in the August 4th Michigan Primary. That is 13% higher than the previous 2018 August Primary and 2/3 of those votes were absentee. Additionally, this turnout exceeded the 2.3 million voters that turned out for Michigan’s March 2020 Primary Election which was when the first the new law Michigan passed was put into practice – where anyone can vote absentee with no extenuating circumstances.
When we dig deeper into the data and analyze the lack of high profile and competitive races, except for an enhancement millage or renewal, the numbers start to unveil the story of Michigan residents showing a major drive to vote.
Why is Michigan showing record voter participation?
The state of the union at both the local and national level obviously has played a considerable part in voter awareness and interest. With this being an election year, with the elevated national presence our Governor has, and with the global pandemic of the Coronavirus, these issues and news cycles highlight highly publicized data and concern with the economy.
We also have some incredible social justice and local activism movements happening here in Michigan (and across the United States) surrounding police brutality, Black Lives Matter, Women, and Diversity in Politics and the Return to School issues.
Citizens are taking a more significant interest in what is going on around them and taking action on those interests and beliefs like never before. In a democracy, your vote is your voice. Residents are feeling a lack of control and great concern about the current state of affairs, and it would seem they are channeling that into the power and validation of voting.
How does social media connect the dots?
As marketing and advertising professionals, we know the success of our campaigns depends on us consistently and repeatedly reaching our target audience 21 to 28 times with solution-based key messaging and creative, integrated, and customized to meet those audiences on their preferred platforms.
The next piece of the puzzle is social proof and influencer reinforcement that your community and network can give. When your friends, family, and community connections are keeping a story or issue top of mind, it is reinforcing the power and reach of the original marketing and advertising.
Social media has replaced our water cooler, our lunch dates, our newsroom, and many other places where we form and share our thoughts and ideas since the Coronavirus largely leaves us to only connect digitally for the foreseeable future.
While outside factors have clearly laid the foundation and increased attention and money is being poured into these platforms from political advertising to keep the news cycle churning, the old adage is seemingly proving true.
Our beliefs and actions are greatly influenced by the people, content, concepts, and ideas that we spend the most time with and connected to. Data has shown that the use of social media has skyrocketed since March of this year and we all know that the social media algorithms are programmed to continue to show you more of what you engage with. Michigan voters have taken an incredible interest in voting and being heard and those numbers are proving out at the polls.