County clerk using Pokemon to lure voters

County clerk using Pokemon to lure voters
(Source :KAIT-TV)
(Source :KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The game Pokemon Go has hit Region 8 by storm. Now a Craighead County official has decided to put the game's popularity to good use.

"This Pokemon Go has really exploded in popularity since it came out," Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday said. "It's only been out two weeks and already has more daily use than Twitter and people are spending more time on the app than they do on Facebook and that's two huge, huge applications that people spend a lot of time in. So, that's a big deal."

Holliday said he plans to have two Pokemon sites at the courthouse to try and get people to register to vote.

The range of people the game reaches amazes him.

"It reaches everyone from your demographics in their teens all the way up to fifties and sixties," Holliday said. "I'm not going to lie, I play. And I've seen going around at these different things that it's a huge demographic. But the big thing that I'm trying to focus in on is a lot of the folks that are playing this game are 18 to 25 or 26 years old. And that's a hugely underserved area."

Holliday says, based on the 2010 census, roughly about 45-47 percent of that age group is registered to vote.

He believes the best way to pull people to the polls is with something they like doing.

"Reaching out to individuals in a way like this--which is something they're doing right now and that they're interested in--may be a way for us to bring them into the voting process. Introduce them to it, get them registered to vote. Let them know when things are coming up and get them involved," Holliday said.

He also wants to make sure everyone's voice is heard, particularly during the upcoming election.

To that end, he will host a Pokemon Go event from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

"The Craighead County Courthouse actually has two Poke stops. The anchor outside in the back and the Hattie Caraway Memorial in the front," Holliday said.

In addition to a place for players to load up on Pokemon balls and other goodies, his office will be grilling free hamburgers and hot dogs along with drinks.

Holliday also added he's funding this event with his own money.

Nothing will come from county funds.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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Posted by Region 8 News on Sunday, July 24, 2016

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