ELECTION DAY: Facebook Does Its Part to Get Voters to the Polls

By David Cohen 

ImAVoter650Election Day is underway in the U.S. Tuesday in what stands to be an important midterm election year, and Facebook is doing its part to encourage users to vote, as well as keep them informed on where users are voting throughout the country.

Facebook told The New York TimesBits blog that every American who logs into the social network Tuesday — some 100 million users — will see the message pictured above atop their News Feeds, reminding them about Election Day, encouraging them to share the fact that they are voting, offering more information (such as polling place locations) and keeping a running tally of the number of users who have voted, including some examples of users’ friends.

During past election years, Facebook has experimented with its voting-related messaging, showing different messages to different users, but that is not the case this year, as vice president of global business communications Michael Buckley told Bits:

We have learned over the past few years that people are more likely to vote when they are reminded on Facebook and they see that their friends have voted. Our effort is neutral — while we encourage any and all candidates, groups and voters to use our platform to engage on the elections, we as a company have not used our products in a way that attempts to influence how people vote.

Facebook is also updating its Voting Across the Nation page with real-time data on where its users are voting. The page description reads:

This map represents people who shared with their friends on Facebook that they’re voting in the 2014 U.S. election. The information displayed here has been aggregated, and personal information like names has been removed. The shade of the map corresponds to the total amount of people who have shared that they’re voting, while the size of each burst represents sharing activity right now.

Share that you’re voting in the U.S. election and find out where to vote.

Readers: Have you used any of Facebook’s election-related features?