Politics

Let’s Register to Vote and Buy Some Sneakers

Starting September 22, 2020, Foot Locker owned stores are becoming voter registration hubs

By: ​ Christopher Claxton

Foot Locker and Rock the Vote’s New QR code for voter registration. Credit: Foot Locker

I go to Foot Locker around once a month to see what new sneakers are on the shelves, check out some new apparel, and possibly pick up some sneaker cleaning products. I never would have thought I’d be able to register to vote while picking up the latest releases.

As Election Day 2020 is quickly approaching, shoppers are no longer walking money to businesses. The Foot Locker Company is one of many retailers adding voter registration to their list of products. 

Popular brands like Kith and Saks Fifth Avenue are a few companies taking part in the in-store voter registration campaigns. Companies are now using their large influence to convince and demonstrate the urgency of voting to consumers. 

“Everyone should vote and be able to but, I genuinely think the stores should be up front about why they’re doing this,” said Zaire Williams, a Brooklyn native who follows politics closely. “Is it for democracy or are they looking to hit a specific demographic? 

In the 2016 election nearly half of registered voters did not show up to the polls to put in their ballot. With the dream of increasing youth voter turnout in November 2020, specifically individuals ages 18-24, Foot Locker owned stores including Lady Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Footaction and Kids Foot Locker have been transformed into voter registration hubs starting September 22. 

When you visit about 2,000 Foot Locker locations you’ll see a sign that has a QR code that you scan with a mobile device. After the scan you’ll be taken to a webpage to register, check voter status, and sign up for needed reminders. The hubs will also give the user access to educational voting materials.

“I think the voting hubs are a great idea, I registered at 18 but many at that age don’t care about registering and voting; they pay it no mind and do not prioritize it,” said Genesis Duran. “This idea is like celebrity advertisement for products, it grabs the attention of the youth. Since the young people will already be in a store they enjoy, I believe they’ll be more inclined to register.”     

Not only will Foot Locker push their consumers to vote but their employees as well. Foot Locker is allowing their store workers and corporate members flexible hours, giving them full access to vote. The company is also releasing resources so their employees can be fully informed voters and vote for what they truly believe in.

“Honestly the hubs  may work and get more young people to register to vote since stores like Foot Locker are promoting it,” said Leonard Benitez, a registered voter. “The hubs are also convenient for people that have a Foot Locker nearby.” 

This is one of the many efforts the organization Rock the Vote is making to increase voter turnout. Rock the Vote is the “most trusted and effective nonpartisan, nonprofit dedicated to building the political power of young people,” according to their website. 

Now the same sneaker stores young people flock to will enable them to register and encourage them to head to the polls in November.   

 

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