- A one-stop-shop for information on how to register and vote
- Will include tool for people to sign up as poll workers across the country
- Part of unprecedented effort to help 4 million voters register this year
In June we announced that we’re conducting the largest voting information campaign in American history, with the goal of helping 4 million voters register this year using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Today, as part of that campaign, we’re launching our Voting Information Center on Facebook and Instagram, which will serve as a one-stop-shop to give people in the US the tools and information they need to make their voices heard at the ballot box.
The goal of the Voting Information Center, together with our registration efforts, is simple: to help every eligible voter in the US who uses our platform vote this year. It is also important that we help protect the integrity of our elections. This new product connects everyone on Facebook and Instagram to accurate and easy-to-find information about voting wherever they live, helping empower them to hold their elected officials accountable. It’s a nonpartisan effort that’s available to everyone, and we’ll send notifications at the top of Facebook and Instagram targeted by age and location so people of voting age see relevant information in their state.
With many states making changes to the voting process because of the pandemic, the center is also designed to help people navigate a confusing election process. It is based on lessons from our COVID-19 Information Center, which has been providing accurate and authoritative information from health authorities about the pandemic since March. This will do the same for voting.
How It Works
People can access the Voting Information Center directly from the menu on Facebook and Instagram. They can use it to check if they’re registered to vote – and if they’re not, easily register through a link that takes them directly to their state website or our nonpartisan partner. They can see if their state has expanded vote-by-mail options and request absentee or mail-in ballots from their state if it’s available. And we’ll help people know if a deadline is approaching so they don’t miss it.
In our Voting Information Centers, we link to and source information from state election officials and other nonpartisan civic organizations. And we’ll continue to work closely with state election officials through November to ensure the centers are updated with the latest election information in each state.
In addition to working with state election authorities to confirm the accuracy of election information, we’re launching a new feature on Facebook called “Voting Alerts” to help state and local election authorities reach their constituents with important updates about voting. This will be increasingly critical as we get closer to the election, with potential late-breaking changes to the voting process that could impact voters. Only pages from a government authority, not the personal page of an individual election official, are eligible to participate in this feature.
We’re also launching a Facts About Voting section with articles on important topics about the election and voting, supplied by the Bipartisan Policy Center. As part of our efforts to stop misinformation, we’re connecting people with the facts about common election topics so they’re equipped to spot misinformation for themselves – not only on our platforms but elsewhere on the internet and the broader media ecosystem.
The federal government estimates there are 3 million US citizens living abroad who are eligible to vote. For them, including those in the military, we’re adding information on how to register and vote absentee from overseas.
Providing More Resources for Voters
Last month, we started adding labels to Facebook posts from federal politicians discussing voting so that people have easy access to the latest official election information. Starting today, we are rolling out these labels to apply to posts on voting in the US on Facebook and Instagram. In addition, people will now be able to access the information center directly from ads about social issues, elections or politics by clicking on the “i” or the “Paid for by” disclaimer. This isn’t a judgment on whether those posts or ads are accurate. It’s a way to ensure that people can access accurate election information without searching around.
Recruiting Poll Workers
State election officials tell us they are having trouble recruiting poll workers this year due to concerns about the coronavirus. Poll workers play an important role in every election – making sure things run smoothly on Election Day and during early voting periods. So we’re adding a call in the Voting Information Center for people to sign up as a poll worker through their state. We’re also offering free ad credits to state election authorities in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia to help them recruit poll workers.
2020 Election News
For people who want to find deeply-reported and well-sourced news about the 2020 election, we’ve launched a US Elections digest in Facebook News. Since this spring, Facebook News has included sections dedicated to big national or global events such as COVID-19 or Calls for Racial Justice featuring stories selected by the curation team. Now, we’re doing the same thing for 2020 election news and will regularly update it to match the election cycle based on coverage by publishers who appear in News.
Updates On And After Election Night
We’re also actively speaking with election officials about the potential of misinformation around election results as an emerging threat. As we saw in several state primaries, the increase in mail-in ballots meant that election results weren’t finalized until days after the election. In previous years, US election preliminary results were often reported soon after polls closed. A prolonged ballot process has the potential to be exploited in order to sow distrust in the election outcome. One way we plan to fight this is by using the Voting Information Center and the US Elections digest in Facebook News to make sure people have easy access to the latest, authoritative information and news on and after Election Night. We will have more to share on additional preparations soon.
Protecting the 2020 Elections
Facebook has built some of the most advanced systems in the world to combat election interference, and we’re always working to improve them. The Voting Information Center will be another layer in this line of defense. By providing clear, accurate and authoritative information to people, we will continue to reduce the ability of malicious networks to take advantage of uncertainty around the pandemic to interfere with the election. We encourage people in the US to use this new resource and make their voices heard by voting this fall.
For additional information on our comprehensive approach to elections, please visit fb.com/about/elections.