A 17-word Facebook reminder contributed to substantial increases in online voter registration across the country, according to top election officials. At least nine secretaries of state have credited the social network’s voter registration reminder, displayed for four days in September, with boosting sign-ups, in some cases by considerable amounts. Data from nine other states show that registrations rose drastically on the first day of the campaign compared with the day before. “Facebook clearly moved the needle in a significant way,” Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state, said in an interview on Tuesday.
In California, 123,279 people registered to vote or updated their registrations on Friday, Sept. 23, the first day that Facebook users were presented with the reminder. That was the fourth-highest daily total in the history of the state’s online registration site.
Those were among the nine states where election administrators extolled the social network in official statements. In nine others, online registration rose as Facebook began its effort, according to a review of data collected by the nonprofit Center for Election Innovation & Research. In those states, registration increased anywhere from two- to 23-fold on the first day the reminder went up, compared with the previous day.