A Facebook reminder that appeared between Sept. 23 and Sept. 26 has aided substantially in boosting online voter registration, according to The New York Times. Voter registration is the first step toward actually voting. Facebook’s reminder asked if users are registered to vote, adding, “Register now to make sure you have a voice in the election.”
17-word Facebook reminder doing wonders
Facebook’s reminder linked users to a federal directory of state voter registration websites. According to top election officials, the 17-word Facebook reminder has assisted in a substantial increase of online voter registration across the country.
In an interview with the Times, Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state, said, “It’s pretty clear that the Facebook reminder campaign disproportionately motivated young people to register.”
After California, secretaries from Indiana, Minnesota, Connecticut, West Virginia, Kentucky, Nebraska, Colorado, Connecticut, and Georgia also credited Facebook’s reminder for the uptick in voter registration this year.
“We send these reminders because we want to help everyone get their voice heard during an election cycle,” the social networking site said in a blog post.
The social media giant is not the only Internet firm reminding users of the upcoming Nov. 8 election. Google has installed a pop-up reminder on its homepage, and YouTube has released a separate PSA aimed at Millennials, notes Fortune.
Will it help reverse the trend?
Only 36.4% of eligible voters cast their ballots during the 2014 presidential election between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, which was a continuation of the continual drop in voter turnout since 1964, notes Fortune. With many Americans voicing concerns with both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, ballots are at risk of being low this year as well.
Hence, earlier this year, USA.gov — the government’s the web portal — declared plans to partner with Facebook in an attempt to reverse the trend. In comparison to the previous day, registrations increased drastically on the first day of the campaign, according to data from nine states. Around 123,279 people updated their registrations or registered to vote in California on Friday, Sept. 23, the first day Facebook users were presented with the reminder.
In the history of the state’s online registration site, this was the fourth-highest daily total, notes the Times. Similarly, Indiana recorded its third-highest daily online registration total ever, while Minnesota broke its record for the most online voter registrations in just a week.