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How Global Mobile is using Sinch SMS to change the way America votes

Global Mobile’s new TXT2VOTE platform, using Sinch short code and 2-way SMS, is changing the way America votes

Global Mobile have been working with Sinch SMS in various forms, since 2004. Now, in times of pandemic, they have stepped up to the plate to fight for health and democracy – building a platform which lets citizens vote remotely via secure, encrypted text messages.  

2 patents

granted for TXT2VOTE system

9 of 10 users

prefer text over mail voting

15+ years

working with Sinch

The need for a mobile voting solution – in times of crisis and digitalization 

It’s no secret that we live in a digital, mobile-first era. We shop, order food, communicate, entertain ourselves, and work on our phones. 

So why does remote voting still happen with paper ballots sent via snail mail? 

It’s a question the team at Global Mobile has pondered for years. 

“Millennials already do everything on their smartphones, and many young people won’t vote if they can’t do it on their phone,” says Global Mobile CEO Lee Durham. “Participation rates in midterm elections and smaller municipal rates are very low, especially among young people.” 

But the coronavirus pandemic that hit in early 2020 magnified just how badly such a solution is needed. As cities across the US shutdown and citizens were asked to stay at home and avoid social contact, political parties cried out for help: How could they maintain voter participation and fair elections during such a crisis? 

“It was really the pandemic that pushed us to make this happen. Right now with the virus there are also a lot of older people not comfortable going out either. There’s a real need to be able to vote via smartphone.” 

There is a solution in place: voting by mail. But it’s a slow process with a lot of forms, and the need to go to the post office for stamps and go out to make sure the letter is sent. Plus, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. When citizens vote by mail, they need to cure their ballot with a signature – something which thousands forget to do.  

Global Mobile had an idea. What if you could vote – and, even if you voted by mail, what if you could cure your ballot with that forgotten signature – all via your smartphone? 

 

Safe, secure voting by Sinch text message 

The answer: humble, reliable SMS. 

“Text might not be the sexiest platform in the world, but everyone can do it, it’s fast and easy, and it’s a great foundation,” Durham remarks. “For a one-time thing like voting, people don’t want to download an app, we wanted to make it as easy as possible.” Durham remarks. 

And after more than 15 years working together, Global Mobile knew they could rely on Sinch to deliver fast, secure 2-way SMS to their customers across the country. 

We find Sinch’s level of integrity and honesty to be very high. The level of technical support that we receive is also very important. When we have a problem, Sinch steps up and fixes it in a day.” 

Working with Sinch, Global Mobile set up a process which is remarkably secure, while simultaneously simple for the user: 

  1. Receive a unique registration code. 
  2. Send registration code to short code number 2VOTE (28683). 
  3. Receive and enter personalized PIN for validation. 
  4. Add a signature on phone screen, and take a picture of ID. 
  5. Mark and submit the ballot. 
  6. Voila! No need to go to a polling station or even the post office. 

Voting is of course an extremely sensitive issue when it comes to security – but Global Mobile has all their bases covered there as well. With two different patents granted for the platform’s rigorous verification process, and a new partnership with Dispersive Networks to incorporate their own patented military-grade encryption, citizens and election officials alike can rest assured that their ballots are in good hands. 

 

Changing the way America votes – and people love it 

In April 2020, when their convention was cancelled due to coronavirus, the Republican Party of Colorado became the first to implement TXT2VOTE.  

And the results speak for themselves. 

“In Colorado, Assembly Delegates were given an option to sign up for vote-by-mail or smartphone voting. 92% chose smartphone voting using the TXT2VOTE platform,” says Lee Durham. “We were very pleased with the results, but more so completely shocked by how many voters chose TXT2VOTE over a vote-by-mail backup option.” 

With such amazing results so far, Global Mobile feels certain that this is only the beginning. Hopefully one day soon, even federal voting will be possible via mobile. And whenever that dream becomes a reality, Global Mobile knows that Sinch will be there to help make it happen. 

Key Facts

Company

Global Mobile

Product

2-way SMS, short code

Industry

Election

Country

USA

Challenge

Find a secure, simple way to let citizens vote via mobile phones

Solution

2-way SMS and branded short codes from Sinch to create streamlined mobile voting and election services

Results

Achieved voter engagement and participation rates of 63-72% through Signature Cure-TXT2CURE and state party elections-TXT2VOTE in Colorado, Utah, and Michigan

" With TXT2VOTE we managed to significantly increase  voter  participation, using SMS from Sinch as a delivery channel. With the level of integrity and technical  support we get from Sinch, we can grow and scale with confidence. "

Lee Durham

CEO, Global Mobile

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