Google to block political ads starting the day after general election
Roughly 20 states have made coronavirus contingencies allowing ballots to be mailed in later
Google announced Friday that it will temporarily halt all political ads directly following Election Day, to prevent premature claims that a candidate has won.
Several states traditionally permit extended deadlines for mail-in ballots to be counted in the days following the November election, but roughly 20 states are granting mail-in ballot extensions this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Highly sought after swing states such as Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania all will accept postmarked ballots that arrive after polls close, so election night may not give voters a clear idea of the presidential winner, as in the past.
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In an email, Google said the new policy will prevent ads that reference a political candidate or election results in order to avoid confusion, Axios first reported Friday.
Facebook announced earlier this week that it also would suspend political ads following the election to prevent premature declarations of a winner. But Facebook is taking it one step further by stopping all new election ads the week prior to Election Day.
“Facebook will be rejecting political ads that claim victory before the results of the 2020 election have been declared,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone tweeted Wednesday.
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Google did not say how long its ad block will be in place across platforms, including YouTube, but reportedly said advertisers should expect the ban for at least a week. Following the first seven days, Google officials will review the political situation on a weekly basis and examine how long it is expected to take for all ballots to be counted.
Some states like Michigan, however, granted up to two weeks following the close of polls on Nov. 3 for mail-in ballots to be counted, suggesting that several states could be counting ballots until the end of November.