Facebook announced Monday it has helped an estimated 2.5 million people register to vote this year ahead of the presidential election, which is now just six weeks away.
The social media conglomerate estimated 2.5 million people registered to vote this year across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, “based on conversion rates we calculated from a few states we’ve partnered with,” the company said in a press release Monday. That’s more than the total estimated 2 million people Facebook helped register to vote during both the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 midterm elections, according to The Verge.
Facebook has set a goal to help register a total of 4 million voters before Election Day 2020 on Nov. 3.
The news comes as a sign to the massive influence social networking sites have shaping American political life and amid fears that Russia and other foreign actors could use Facebook to interfere in the presidential race.
Hit with scrutiny the platform hasn’t done enough to fight misinformation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this month that no new political or issue ads will be greenlighted in the week before Election Day.
To coincide with National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, the company will continue its weeklong voter registration drive with notifications at the top of its Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger apps. Since Saturday, the notifications have directed users to the relevant page with their states' official website or a non-partisan partner organization if online voter registration isn’t available in their state. They will be shown until Sept. 25, as voter registrations deadlines vary by state.
Facebook launched a national “More Questions, More Answers” consumer awareness campaign Monday across “national broadcast, cable, radio and digital homepage takeovers within lifestyle and news outlets” to encourage people to visit its Voting Information Centers.
So far, more than 39 million people have visited the Voting Information Center on Facebook and Instagram to get information about how to register and how to vote from their state’s official website or one of our non-partisan partner sites, the press release said.
The center will now list voter registration deadlines and, starting next week, will also feature more information about early voting polling locations, dates, and hours, as well as information about vote-by-mail options in the state.
An hourlong virtual Vote-A-Thon will be live-streamed on Facebook at 11 a.m. Tuesday with calls from American celebrities and public figures and will also “spotlight human interest stories from communities across the country, featuring the unsung heroes of the election process.”On Instagram, those who use the new National Voter Registration Day stickers set to launch Tuesday will be added to a special Register To Vote story.