FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2016
Sam Mahood (916) 653-6575
Facebook Reminder Triggers Surge in California Online Voter Registration
Nearly 200,000 Completed Registrations or Updates in Just Three Days
SACRAMENTO – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla reported today that there were nearly 200,000 completed transactions on the California Secretary of State’s online voter registration website on Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25. This spike coincided with a reminder from Facebook to register to vote.
On Friday, September 23, 2016, United States Facebook users age 18 and up began receiving a reminder to register to vote through a link appearing at the top of their News Feed.
The result was a major surge in online voter registration.
“Friday’s registration activity was the fourth highest in the four year history of California’s online voter registration site,” Secretary of State Padilla said. “Registering to vote is the first step to becoming an active voter. For many who may be new to the political process an invitation to register can be a powerful nudge to get involved. Facebook has demonstrated the power of social media to engage more people to register to vote, helping thousands take a big step to casting a ballot this November.”
“Going back to 2008, we’ve been reminding people on Facebook to vote on Election Day and directing them to information on where to vote. This is the natural next step. We want people to have a voice in the process, and getting registered means that there’s one less hurdle for them,” said Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s Product Manager for civic engagement.
On Friday alone, 123,279 Californians completed registrations or updates of registration information on the Secretary of State’s online voter registration site. On Saturday, another 43,888 registrations were completed through the voter registration website. On Sunday, there were 29,256 more registrations or updates of registration information online.
The surge in online registration was fueled by younger voters. The online activity showed that approximately 23.82% of these transactions were completed by Californians ages 17-25. And, about 29.73% of these transactions were completed by Californians ages 26-35.
Before the Facebook reminder, there was an average of 9,307 completed registrations or updates of registration information per day in September on the Secretary of State’s online voter registration site.
October 24 is the deadline to register for the November 8, 2016 General Election.
“If you've moved, changed your name, or want to change your political party preference simply visit RegisterToVote.ca.gov by October 24," Padilla added.
The Facebook reminder post includes a link to take users to Vote.USA.gov—a federal site with voter registration resources. This site redirects California users to RegisterToVote.ca.gov via a pulldown menu. In addition to initiating their own voter registration process, people can let friends on Facebook know that they are registered to vote and encourage their friends to register too.
Facebook Voter Registration Reminder