Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Snapchat is working to get younger users to register to vote ahead of the 2020 general election, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: The company was able to successfully register 450,000 people through its app during the 2018 midterms. Now, new data shows that 50% of those registered actually went out and casted ballots.

Driving the news: The new data from DemocracyWorks, a nonpartisan, nonprofit that runs civic tech companies like TurboVote and BallotScout, shows that 57% of Snapchat users last cycle that registered on the platform did indeed cast a ballot.

  • Of those that registered, 57% were between the ages of 18 and 24, a demographic that's usually shy to visit the voting booths.
  • "Users trust Snapchat when it comes to civics, which is why TurboVote sees higher engagement rates there than on any other platform," says Mike Ward, VP of Voter Engagement at Democracy Works, makers of TurboVote.
  • "Snap's success on voter engagement is more important than ever, given that on-the-ground voter engagement can't be counted on in a pandemic environment," he adds.  

The big picture: Snapchat has leaned into civic engagement over the past two cycles, upping its political content and pushing to get more of its younger user base to register, find their polling place and consume accurate information about the election.

  • Its flagship original show staring CNN veteran Peter Hamby called "Good Luck America" has hosted nearly every presidential contender this cycle, including former Vice President Joe Biden, whose three-part interview with Hamby debuted Wednesday and runs again on Thursday and Friday.
  • In February, Snapchat launched a new voter registration initiative, which pushes notifications to user profiles when they turn 18 with directions to register to vote.
  • Over half (52%) of 18-24-year-old Snapchatters will be voting for the first time this November, according to a new survey from GlobalWebIndex.
  • In a normal election year, first-time voters would likely be registering on-campus at college, but amid the pandemic, those options are limited.

Between the lines: Candidates are pushing to get in front of Snap's audience.

  • While nearly every nominee has taken to Snapchat in the past few months to communicate with potential voters, data shows that President Trump's reelection campaign has found the most success on the platform.

Bottom line: Snapchat is leaning into civic engagement ahead of the 2020 race, and it's hoping that its defining role is educating young voters about the election, while connecting them to candidates and tools to cast ballots.

Go deeper

When and how to vote in all 50 states

Data: RepresentUS; Note: Montana has told counties they can opt into universal vote-by-mail; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Millions of Americans who normally vote in person on election day will turn to early voting or mail-in ballots this fall — but that only works if you understand your state's election rules, deadlines and how to ensure your vote is counted.

Driving the news: Axios is launching an interactive resource, built on research by RepresentUs, a nonpartisan election reform group, to help voters across the country to get the information they need.

Dems raise alarm over changes to Postal Service's election mail processing practices

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy walking through the Capitol on August 5. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House and Senate Democrats wrote to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Wednesday, urging him not to issue new directives for handling election mail ahead of November's general election.

Why it matters: Democrats fear changes to election mail processing practices "will cause further delays to election mail that will disenfranchise voters and put significant financial pressure on election jurisdictions," per a letter written by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and signed by the 47-member Democratic caucus.

Apple's antitrust fight turns Epic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Millions of angry gamers may soon join the chorus of voices calling for an antitrust crackdown on Apple, as the iPhone giant faces a new lawsuit and PR blitz from Epic Games, maker of mega-hit Fortnite.

Why it matters: Apple is one of several Big Tech firms accused of violating the spirit, if not the letter, of antitrust law. A high-profile lawsuit could become a roadmap for either building a case against tech titans under existing antitrust laws or writing new ones better suited to the digital economy.