Facebook is not a media company and has no desire to push a political agenda on its readers, but it certainly seems to be playing a big role in the upcoming U.S. election.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans of legal voting age logged in to find a reminder to register to check and update their voter registration on Friday, along with a link that sent them directly to www.vote.USA.gov. By Friday evening, Georgia’s Secretary of State revealed that this advocacy prompted a 2,225 percent increase in voter registrations from the same day last year. That’s a decent spike. Depending on who you think benefits more from a large turnout (most seem to think it is likely to benefit Clinton) a Facebook assist on this front could, potentially, help move the needle in battleground states.
Now, data from the Center for Election Innovation and Research indicates that the call to action was heard across nearly all states that allow online voter registration. On Wednesday, the Center published upticks observed in 16 states and Washington D.C.
Among the states that saw the most dramatic jumps between September 22 and September 23 were Alabama, Louisiana, and Minnesota, but the biggest surge was in Facebook’s birthplace, California. Though not included in this particular analysis, Virginia is also said to have experienced a significant increase in registrations.
While many were grateful for the reminder, mixed reactions could be found across the social media landscape.
Since Facebook’s campaign launched, Google and Twitter have also followed up with their own promotions, timed to National Voter Registration Day on September 27. According to the Center for Election Innovation and Research, Google’s voter registration doodle also spurred registrations in California, Maryland, Minnesota, and Oregon.