This is finally an application of SMS in American politics that I believe in. Personal Democracy Forum has a post about registering single women to vote over SMS. Here’s a little bit about it:
… text “SMS” to 75444. As you know, most of your friends probably have their cell phone on them when you are speaking to them and sending a text message will only interrupt conversations for a few seconds… the same amount of time it takes to unwrap a stick of gum.
Then they have a little interaction and a they are registered to vote (details here). In general, I think that building lists and IDing supporters is the thing to do with SMS. Hotlineblog reports a good (John Edwards) and bad (Rick Santorum) way to use SMS.
Some friends of mine in Finland are doing this. People can join their organization (the youth wing of one of the Finnish conservative parties) by texting an address. They can even pay their membership dues that way. In general, the US is a little behind the times on using SMS in politics for a variety of reasons (some of them good like cheap phone calls). Here are some great examples of international political use of SMS (H/T Smart Mobs). But a big one is just that most of the people that use SMS are younger and don’t vote anyways.
If I were a College Republican or a College Democrat at a recruiting table this fall, the first thing that I would do is have every person who shows up register to vote in front of you. And then send something similar out to your Facebook group…