Commission launched new initiative "18 in 2018".
Arizona’s only non-partisan voter education program headed by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) is seizing the year to draw attention to the country’s legal voting age. While U.S. citizens are eligible to vote when they mark their 18th birthday, people 18 to 29 represent the lowest group of registered voters in Arizona and across the nation. As a means of promoting participation in the electoral process by all eligible voters, CCEC is launching a unique voter education initiative that speaks to this group of voters called “18 in 2018.”
“Being old enough to vote is a major life event that sets young people on a path toward adulthood,” said CCEC Voter Education Director Gina Roberts. “We know through research that voting at an early age increases the likelihood of continued civic involvement in later years, which is why this effort is important. While we are leveraging the last two digits in this calendar year ‘18’ to create memorability, our intention is to make a long-lasting impression on all young people this year and beyond.”
“18 in 2018” will employ a customized Instagram page and social media advertising targeting this group of voters. The CCEC voter dashboard, the CCEC voter chatbot and the AZCleanElections.gov website are also part of the effort. Voters 18 to 29 will be instructed on how to register to vote and get their ballot, how to research information about statewide candidates and upcoming voter initiatives as well as resources to help them better understand the electoral process. The much-anticipated centerpiece is an experiential activity that involves two augmented reality (AR) mural art installations in Phoenix and in Tucson. It starts with the completion of a mural that commemorates turning 18 and its significance in civic involvement.
Mural art is hugely popular among this demographic. As a way of visually capturing the notion of coming of age, the idea of “spreading your wings” was an easy to grasp concept for the AR mural art. With this in mind, the CCEC enlisted Phoenix mural artist Lauren Lee, who began her public art journey by capturing the intricacies of wings through her “Three Birds” mural.
Subsequently, the new CCEC mural “Take Flight” will be a pair of 10 x 10 wings. People will be able to stand at the center and instantly appear to have sprouted giant wings. “I was delighted when I got the phone call about this project,” said Lauren Lee. “The meaning behind the mural is especially appealing to me. My intention is to captivate Arizona’s young people with a beautiful representation of taking flight with your decision to register to vote. The addition of augmented reality to the art will literally look like they are a part of the art and ready to spread their wings.”
Most importantly, not only will the addition of the augmented reality be a an engaging experience, it will quickly lead the user to the CCEC website where they will register to vote. The CCEC “Take Flight” mural was painted onto a public wall located along Roosevelt Row at 214 E. Roosevelt St. using a layering process needed for AR integration. Specifically, one section of the mural was painted onto the wall and captured by a professional photographer. Next the wall was covered in white paint in preparation for the next section of the image. The mural took five iterations of this process with the final phase looking like a completed mural on the wall. The final art will be replicated in Tucson at 191 Toole using wheat pasting. In early May, people can use the Shazam app on their phone with a corresponding QR code to pose their friends with the wings and see them in animated flight.
“We believe that our “Take Flight” AR mural will appeal to voters from all walks of life and ages,” said Damien Meyer, Chairman of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. “The point is to find new ways to engage voters and to heighten awareness about the political process and participation. We think this project is especially timely. We are committed to keeping it in place through the Fall and will work very hard to establish it as a new destination worth experiencing in Phoenix and in Tucson.”
The CCEC “Taking Flight” AR mural will be the first ever AR mural art in Phoenix. The artwork is completed now and the AR technology will launch May 4. The Tucson-based AR Mural will be unveiled on May 8. Follow the artist and the project on Instagram at @18_in_2018 and online at www.azcleanelections.gov/18in2018, where pictures posted by people with the hashtag #18in2018 are being aggregated.