Facebook’s Voter Registration Reminder Actually Worked
Want to increase voter turn out? Follow Facebook’s lead and remind people to register.
A Facebook (FB) reminder, which appeared between Sept. 23 and Sept. 26, has helped substantially boost online voter registration—the first step toward actually voting, according to the New York Times. The reminder asked, “Are you registered to vote? Register now to make sure you have a voice in the election.” And then it linked users to a federal directory of state voter registration websites, the Times reports.
“It’s pretty clear that the Facebook reminder campaign disproportionately motivated young people to register,” Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state, told the Times.
After California, secretaries from Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, and West Virginia have credited Facebook’s reminder for increasing voter registration this year.
During the 2014 presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, just 36.4% of eligible voters cast their ballots—a continuation of the steady decline in voter turnout since 1964. Ballots are at risk of being low again this year, with many Americans voicing concern with both Republican nominee, Donald Trump, and Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
So earlier this year, USA.gov, the web portal for the government, announced that it was partnering with Facebook in an attempt to buck the trend.
“We send these reminders because we want to help everyone get their voice heard during an election cycle,” Facebook wrote in a blog post.
Facebook isn’t the only Internet giant reminding users of the looming Nov. 8 election: Google (GOOGL) has also installed a pop-up reminders on its homepage, while the Google-owned YouTube launched a separate PSA aimed at millennials.