SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - September 26, 2012 – Kids Voting Arizona, and the Arizona Bar Foundation, have partnered with CellTrust to provide a text messaging-based youth polling program, on the foundation’s partner site lawforkids.org, as part of this year’s Kids Voting Arizona initiative.
Through the Youth Presidential Poll program, which kicked off on August 27th, Kids Voting Arizona and the Arizona Bar Foundation are teaching youth that making their voice heard, and taking advantage of their democratic rights is an important part of growing up and being a responsible citizen. The SMS technology to be used in the program, provided by the CellTrust Corporation, allows the youth participants to send their poll responses, retrieve up-to-date results, and engage in discussions through a nonpartisan, safe text messaging channel.
“CellTrust is providing us with the ability to engage with our state’s youth via their preferred channel: the mobile phone,” said Dr. Kevin S. Ruegg Ph.D., CEO and Executive Director of the Arizona Bar Foundation, which administers Kids Voting Arizona. “We chose to partner with CellTrust because of their foundation in mobile communication security, and the mobile expertise to keep the information shared by participants in Kids Voting Arizona confidential.”
Through CellTrust’s 2-way SMS Gateway Platform, Kids Voting Arizona campaign administrators have designed an individualized and interactive campaign that engages young mobile phone users and encourages adult voter turnout by helping to stimulate family conversations within households.
“We are proud to be able to use this technology for a meaningful campaign in our own backyard.” said CellTrust CEO and Chairman, Sean Moshir. “We believe that engaging and educating the youth is one of the most crucial steps to ending voter apathy and heightening awareness for the importance of voting.”
CellTrust has also extended the offer to utilize the platform, through Kids Voting Arizona, to all other Kids Voting programs across the United States. Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin have elected to participate as well, and will also be providing the SMS-based Presidential Poll Program for their respective regions.
Kids Voting Arizona is available to all Arizona school-age children from kindergarten through 12th grade and strives to meet the needs of diverse populations across the state. Students learn about voter registration and encourage parents to register as well. Then students cast their own ballot with the same issues and candidates as adults. Students may vote in class, accompany their parents to the polls, cast an early mail-in ballot, or vote online. The student votes are then tabulated and results reported to the media, the students, and the community.
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