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Vision Vancouver seeks to attract voters on Grindr

‘If it helps us to pick up a voter or two, it’s not a bad thing’: Trevor Loke

If his party’s Grindr ad reaches new voters and helps increase turnout in the election, that’s a benefit, says Trevor Loke, who is seeking a second term on the Vancouver parks board under the Vision Vancouver banner. Credit: Vision Vancouver

Vision Vancouver has taken to the gay hookup site Grindr to attract voters to its candidates for the Nov 15 municipal election.

“Pledge to vote on November 15! Mayor Gregor Robertson & the Vision team have made Vancouver louder, prouder, safer & stronger. Civic status for Pride, Vancouver’s Sochi mission, Rainbow crosswalks, inclusive spaces & a new Qmunity Centre. Let’s go forward (& be fabulous) with Vision!” says the ad, which began running Nov 2.

“If it helps us to pick up a voter or two, it’s not a bad thing,” says parks board incumbent Trevor Loke. “It’s a way that we’d reach people who would vote for us.”

The ad includes a link that connects viewers to the Vision website, where people can pledge to vote in the election. It asks for name, address, mobile number and email address. Loke says many people sign such pledges and then forget about them.

“It’s an opportunity for Vision to reach out to them on voting day and remind them to vote,” he says. He believes many Grinder users may well be Vision supporters already but says that if the ad reaches new voters and helps increase voter turnout in the election, that’s a benefit.

This is not the first time the app has been used to generate political support. Grindr has been used in elections in the United States, Holland, Australia and also during the recent Scottish independence campaign.

“The idea behind Grindr for Equality is to harness this huge global network — all of you — to do some amazing work for GLBT equality and to advance the cause of our community worldwide. Simply put, let’s use Grindr to organize and fight for our rights,” the Grindr website says.