• They're just trying to catch them all (Peter Jacob)Source: Peter Jacob
A novel approach to mobilising their voter base.
Ben Winsor

25 Jul 2016 - 1:48 PM  UPDATED 25 Jul 2016 - 2:27 PM

With voluntary voting, American politicians face a challenge at every election - making sure their supporters get out and vote.

To do that they spend months making phone calls, sending letters and going door-to-door - asking as many voters as possible who they plan on voting for.

Then, come Election Day, they do it all again, targeting their identified supporters and reminding them to come out and vote.

For all the advancements in technology, the biggest struggle for campaigns is motivating enough volunteers to spend hours walking round suburbs 'canvassing' people on who they're going to vote for.

That's where Pokemon Go comes in.

The smash-hit app has gotten thousands of people on the the streets around the world hunting Pokemon.

So it was only a matter of time before someone hit on the idea of mixing Pokemon Go with door-to-door canvassing.

Local democratic groups in Florida and New Jersey are believed to be among the first to use the smartphone game as a way of attracting volunteers.

"If you're a Pokemon Go player, we'll catch Pokemon along the way!!" A group canvassing in Titusville, Florida excitedly notes.

In New Jersey, Democrat Peter Jacob, who's running for Congress, has gone one better.

"We will be setting up a lure module at 5pm for half an hour before going out to canvass," an email reads.

"We will provide physical scripts and canvassing sheets, so you can keep your phone on, and catch Pokemon while canvassing," it says.

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