SOMERVILLE NJ - Peter Jacob is a Democrat running for a seat in the House of Representatives in a district that traditionally elects Republicans. His opponent is Leonard Lance, who has won four consecutive general elections in the district.  

Logically, then, candidate Jacob may need to find new and innovative ways to connect with voters.

Tomorrow, Jacob aims to connect with younger voters using Pokémon GO, the augmented reality game that is sweeping the nation.

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Jacob will host a Pokémon GO canvass event on Wednesday July 20 at 5 p.m. at the Somerville Green, located at 39 E. Main St. in Somerville.  According to a press release from the Jacob campaign, the event will begin with a half-an-hour solely devoted to catching Pokémon, by placing a lure module, which will attract rare Pokémon.  Once the lure module runs out, everyone will canvass the town for Jacob. They will be able to keep their phones on, incubate their eggs and catch Pokémon along the walking route, this while talking to voters about Jacob and his platform.

“I want to get the community involved,” Jacob said, “especially the younger members of our society. It is unhealthy for our democracy that so few Americans show up to vote, and a shame that so many feel as if their votes don't count, that their voices won’t be heard. It is for these reasons that I am excited to get people involved with innovative, and fresh ideas. This event serves as a perfect opportunity for people of all ages to get active and involved with the campaign. Parents can bring their children or grandchildren, and enjoy the beautiful walks around Somerville.”

Pokémon Go is the newest and most active application in both Google Play store and Apple’s App store. Developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company, it allows users to leave their homes and “catch” Pokémon outside through the use of the user’s phone camera as well as their GPS device. The interface of the game puts it in a genre known as “augmented reality.” Pokémon Go has quickly become a national phenomenon, and has made its way into politics in the form of a commercial for Donald Trump, and a voter registration event for Hillary Clinton. It is available for both Android and iOS platforms.