Boost Mobile turning its storefronts into polling places

Technically Incorrect: In an initiative to support voting in minority communities, Boost gives people a new place to cast their ballots on Election Day.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Trying to make voting easier.

Boost Mobile/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I'd never wish to accuse anyone of shenanigans, mostly because I don't like the word "shenanigans."

Many people are saying, however, that certain states have deliberately reduced the number of polling places on Election Day in order to make it difficult for some people to vote.

These voters tend to live in low-income and minority communities.

So Boost Mobile decided it will try to help. In a new initiative, the prepaid carrier is turning its stores, many of which are located in areas where people have traditionally been forced to wait in absurdly long lines, into polling places.

In a YouTube video posted Tuesday, the company explains that it's already begun the program.

In order to make it spread, Boost launched a Change.org petition to persuade 817 election boards across the US to participate. Currently, the program is in certain districts in southern California and Chicago.

"This is bigger than partisanship," the petition reads. "This is fundamental to our nation's founding values."

The company has also created a website for the initiative, and it encourages election officials to contact it directly.

Boost Mobile offers some details as to voting patterns in less advantaged areas. Less than half of those making less than $20,000 a year voted in 2012.

Boost says that its own employees will volunteer to staff the polling places.

Boost wouldn't comment as to whether it had encountered any resistance thus far. However, Peiti Feng, the company's brand strategy and marketing communications director, told me: "We believe everyone deserves to be heard and it's our hope we can make a difference in providing more polling places and resources to those who need it most."

Drier minds will sniff that this is merely marketing. But at least it's marketing with something of a social conscience.

You'd think that those who believe in democracy would want everyone to vote. Sadly, there are some who believe in power a little more than they believe in democracy.

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