TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A mural that comes to life through augmented reality is working to encouraging 18-year-olds to vote. The #18in2018 mural in downtown near North Sixth Avenue and East Toole Avenue is painted on the outside wall of the 191 Toole concert hall.
The mural is part of an effort by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission to appeal to young people's interest with virtual reality and social media while encouraging them to register to vote. Making the effort to register to vote and to be an active voter is something that Arizona non-profit Progress Now Arizona says is incredibly important.
"Regardless of the political climate, you shouldn't say, 'I'm not going to register to vote even though I'm eligible.' But yes it is also even much more important now because, you know, we need to make sure that a lot of under-represented communities, specifically students or young people, are actively engaged," Edder Diaz Martinez of Progress Now Arizona said.
The mural works using the Shazam app, which can be downloaded for free. Users scan the code next to the mural on the app. From there you can click the options to either register to vote on the bottom of your screen or you can tap the wings on the mural and they will come to life through augmented reality.
There's more than one #18in2018 mural. There's one in downtown Phoenix's Roosevelt Row as well. No matter where the murals might be, voting registration advocates say that 18-year-olds need to exercise their right to vote in every election possible.
"This year, obviously, is the midterm elections, so it's one of the more unpopular ones because it's more state legislature, some of the more congressional and its not as attractive," Diaz Martinez said, "But we want to make sure that we ramp up the excitement. We're making sure that it's easier for students to vote and we're just creating that habit because that's the most important thing to do."