How QR codes could shake up 2012

Mashable, one of the leading social media blogs, has just released a list of 5 ways QR codes could transform the 2012 election.  What could make QR codes so much more powerful in this upcoming 2012 election cycle than they were in the 2008 election cycle is that in just 4 short years smart phones have gone mainstream in a big way.  They've made it easy for voters to scan a code and then be directed to a campaign video, make a donation or sign up to volunteer all from their phones.  Appropriately enough, innovative state leaders have already taken the lead with this new technology, as CSG reported earlier here.

Mashable looks at 5 key areas that QR codes can enhance:

  1. Field organizing
  2. Donations
  3. Endorsements
  4. Merchandise
  5. Get Out the Vote

The common thread in Mashable's analysis is that QR codes provide a very convenient bridge between many of the traditional mediums for connecting with citizens and the online world.  While there is a bit of a barrier in that these codes require a high level of technological literacy to use, the number of citzens who have that literacy is growing rapidly.

The article makes one other note that might be of particular interest to state leaders: QR codes could be very powerful for voter registration in states that allow registrations to be completed online.  Volunteers could go door-to-door and simply have citizens scan a code, which would allow them to conveniently register online from their phones.

Another idea, not specifically mentioned in the article, is how the ubiquity of smart phones and QR codes could give resourceful candidates and volunteers incredibly powerful tools for identifying voters.  Well funded campaigns have previously collected voter data using PDA's, scanners and voter ID systems using bar codes.  Now a smart phone-equipped volunteer could have similar capabilities.  This rapid proliferation of powerful technology could prove a boon to smaller state elections with modest budgets but committed and connected grassroots organizers.

To read the full Mashable article, click here.