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Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...'s going to spam you with voter registration texts

The Electoral Commission has spotted two things: 18-24 year olds don’t vote and 18-24 year olds have smartphones. You'll never guess what's coming next.

The commission, which is charged with getting the UK population out to vote, has employed Weve to peddle mobile voter registration to the youth market.

Young adults will be sent text messages which contain links to online registration in the hope that they will use their smartmobes to sign up.

The organisation claims it takes approximately 5-7 minutes to register to vote via a handset, as the site has been optimised for smartphone use. The Electoral Commission that mobile will form part of a much wider above the line campaign to register to vote, but it is being used to focus on a very specific audience.

Weve was a joint venture by the UK mobile operators, EE, O2 and Vodafone, to dive into mobile money, and planned to use its extensive database – trawled from the networks – to do so. Having failed to do so it has scaled back its ambitions to spam people with texts effectively market at targeted demographics. All mention of mobile money or plans to develop a wallet as a stepping stone to NFC has disappeared from Weve's website.

The campaign is the first of its kind in the UK, and will remind people that they need to be registered to vote by the deadline of Monday 20 April in order to vote at the general election on Thursday 7 May. A YouGov survey found that seven in 10 people were unaware of the deadline.

This year, people can register online using their phones for the first time. There are an estimated 7.5 million eligible people who aren’t correctly registered at their current address, and many of these are younger people: 70.2 per cent of 20-24 year olds were registered, compared to 95.4 per cent of people over the age of 65.

Nigel Clarkson, the commercial director at Weve, said:

"We know how much this audience love their phones so it makes sense to talk to them encourage them to register to vote whilst they are already on their handsets. They can register whilst in a coffee shop or waiting for the bus; the important thing is that they can participate in the forthcoming general election."

Weve will use geo-location around some of the biggest university campuses in the UK to target as many 18-24 year olds as possible. ®

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