Sanders Buys Snapchat Geofilters to Get Out the Vote on Primary Day in New York

Mobile Messaging Service Enlisted in Crucial Contest

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A geofilter ad being offered to Snapchat users in New York City.
A geofilter ad being offered to Snapchat users in New York City. Credit: Bernie 2016 via Snapchat

The Bernie Sanders campaign bought geofilters on Snapchat in New York to support its get-out-the-vote-efforts as the state's primary arrived Tuesday.

A filter specific to New York City, for example, reads "New York City Vote Bernie Today!" at the top and shows an illustration of Mr. Sanders and the Statue of Liberty below. Another Sanders filter is available in the rest of the state. Snapchat users can superimpose the filters over their own photos and videos before sharing them with friends.

The Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns for the Democratic nomination for president have been battling for votes in New York State, where both candidates have roots, with a flurry of appearances, paid advertising and neighborhood canvassing.

"As Sen. Sanders says regularly, if there's a high voter turnout with a lot of young people at the polls, we're going to do well," said Kenneth Pennington, digital director, Bernie 2016, in an email. "Our aim with these advertisements is to remind people that today they get to cast their ballot for Sen. Sanders."

Mr. Pennington and a Snapchat spokesman declined to discuss the price of the geofilters.

The Snapchat spokesman said he was not aware of other campaign advertising on Snapchat on Tuesday. Representatives from the Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich campaigns did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday morning.

The Cruz, Rand Paul and Scott Walker campaigns have previously ran geofilter or video ads on Snapchat, as have PACs such as Priorities USA Action, which supports Democrats, and Conservative Solutions, which supported Marco Rubio, according to the Snapchat spokesman.

All the remaining candidates also maintain accounts on Snapchat that users can follow. The Clinton campaign, for example, posted video of the candidate campaigning in Yonkers, N.Y., and Queens and Manhattan on Monday and voting in Westchester, N.Y., on Tuesday morning. The Kasich campaign posted video Monday of a town hall in Schenectady, N.Y.

The conservative group Judicial Watch bought a geofilter for users in Washington, D.C., last fall as Ms. Clinton testified before the House Benghazi Committee.

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