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Election 2012 Goes High Tech: QR Codes Bring 1.5 Million New Voters to the Polls?


Rock the Vote QR Code T-Shirt (

It was just a matter of time before registering to vote became as simple as whipping out your cellphone.  Rock the Vote set a goal of 1.5 million registrations ahead of the November 2012 presidential elections.   They used a few novel approaches using QR codes.  One solution was a t-shirt design featuring a QR code which, when scanned, takes smartphone users to the Rock the Vote website where they can register to vote.  The idea is simple: Put the t-shirt on, and presto! instant mobile hotspot for voter registration.

They’re rocking the vote a mile high, too.  With an assist from Virgin America, Rock the Vote has gone airborne. The voter registration drive accompanied Virgin’s new nonstop route from San Francisco to Washington D.C.   In-flight internet service enabled passengers to scan the QR code and register to vote through the plane’s in-flight entertainment system.  (source:

Still in its infancy this election cycle, QR code technology may be a key component of election-day options in the future. Currently Colorado’s voting rules allow QR code-enabled voting to work seamlessly with an iPhone.  Voters in California and Washington are also pushing forward initiatives to open voting to smartphone-enabled apps. (source:

Voters can look forward to more innovative uses of QR codes in the future.  “QR codes can do fun things like gamification,” said an industry leader from PromoJam (the organization that built the QR Code campaign with Rock the Vote). “Generation Y knows what they are and they use them,” she added.  Giving unregistered voters a vote, providing undecided voters with information, pledging money and paying it directly from a smartphone – the technology is in your pocket.