Outside The Lines

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What is #StayInLine and How Did It Affect Voters in 2018?

November 14, 2018 Jessica 0 Comments

On November 6th, 2018, a trend that influence voters emerged: #StayInLine. “The hashtag #StayInLine began trending nationwide on Twitter as people encouraged those experiencing long wait times to stay strong even if the polls are about to close,” stated USA today. This little hashtag had a big impact on voters who may have called it quits and left the polls before getting a chance to vote.

#StayInLine Encouraged Residents of North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Ohio to Vote

#StayInLine mainly influenced voters in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Ohio. Many voters in these states were mistaken in thinking they would lose their chance to vote once the polls closed. What they didn’t know was that as long as they were in line when the polls closed, they still had the right to vote.

“It’s one of the most basic principles of electoral democracy: if you go to the polls when they are open, and you are a registered and qualified voter, then as long as you wait in line, you are entitled to cast your ballot even if the line is so long that you must wait until after the scheduled time for the polls to close,” said Edward B. Foley, Director of the Election Law at Ohio State University’s Mortiz College of Law, reported by USA today.

Sticker-Clad Celebrities Urged People to Vote

Like the #StayInLine hashtag, “I Voted” stickers were also instrumental in convincing people to vote. Numerous celebrities sported “I Voted” stickers and posted photos of themselves wearing them via various social media platforms.

“I voted” stickers may have had a powerful effect on some people, encouraging them to vote in instances where they might have passed up the opportunity. Taylor Swift even released a video about the importance of voting. In it, she said:

It’s not enough to just want change. It’s not enough to just want to vote. You have to go and make change by voting, and today is your opportunity to do that. I promise you it feels so wonderful to exercise that right that you have.” (ABC News)

ABC News also mentioned that after taking a sabbatical from posting photos on social media sites, Lovato shared a snapshot of herself at the polls and exclaimed “I am so grateful to be home in time to vote!”  

Also, photos of non-celebrities wearing “I Voted” stickers were plastered all over Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook on November 6th, 2018.

Free Rides Were Offered on Election Day

If stickers and hashtags weren’t enough to convince people to vote, many transportation organizations and services offered free or reduced rides to the polls. This was likely very helpful since “lack of transportation was found to be the third most common reason for not voting among young people who did not attend college,” stated No Excuse Not to Vote: How to Score a Free Ride to the Polls This Election Day.

How Did #StayInLine Affect You?

Were you a voter who was influenced by #StayInLine? If so, please share your experience with us in the section below. We would love to hear your story!

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