Helping States Get the Poll Workers They Need

    100,000 new poll workers estimated to have signed up from Facebook effort

    One of the most important roles in every election is filled by the poll workers who keep polling places running smoothly. Earlier this summer, state election officials warned of a massive shortage — almost half a million — because the majority of poll workers in previous elections were over 60 and at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. To make it easier for people to sign up with their state election authorities for this critical role, Facebook recently showed a message at the top of News Feed to people in the US over the age of 18.

    More than 1.7 million people clicked on the notification at the top of the Facebook app to sign up with their state authority. We estimate this helped about 100,000 people sign up as poll workers, based on conversion rates we calculated from a few states we’ve partnered with.

    Several states reported more details about how Facebook helped close their own poll worker gaps: 

    • North Carolina election officials told us that over 11,000 people signed up from Saturday to Monday morning, with 60,000 people clicking the link on Facebook. State officials have said they need at least 25,000 poll workers this year.
    • South Carolina officials saw 20% of their total signups to-date over the weekend we ran our recruitment drive.
    • Iowa saw a 15X surge in poll worker sign ups over the weekend we ran our recruitment drive.
    • Michigan saw a 12-16X surge in poll worker sign ups, recruiting 5,000 people on the Saturday we ran the poll worker notification.

    Poll worker shortages can mean long wait times at the polls or fewer polling places, which makes it harder for people to participate in the democratic process, so Facebook is doing its part to fill this gap. We also offered free ad credits to every state election authority so they can recruit poll workers across our platforms. Several states have already started running these ads and more are planning to join. The Voting Information Center also includes details about how to sign up as a poll worker. 

    screenshot of message at the top of News Feed calling for poll officials

    With just about a month left until Election Day, we’ll continue helping people use their voices to vote by showing information about registration deadlines, deadlines to request a mail-in or absentee ballot and when to return it, early voting options, and information about how to vote on Election Day. 

    This year we set an ambitious goal to help more than 4 million people register to vote. So far, we estimate we’ve helped 2.5 million people register across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, based on conversion rates we calculated from a few states we’ve partnered with. Now that people are voting, we’ve launched an Early Voting in Person feature in the Voting Information Center. Last week we added a notification at the top of Facebook, Instagram and Messenger to coincide with National Voter Registration Day with a link to their state authority’s website or a non-partisan organization where they can register. And as registration deadlines, which vary by state, are approaching, we will continue providing this information and an easy link for people to follow to make sure they are registered in time to make their voices heard.

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