Top social media platforms steered hundreds of thousands of users to voter registration websites over the weekend in an effort several states said set new records for registration activity. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media networks began reminding users over the age of 18 to register to vote on Friday, ahead of Tuesday’s National Voter Registration Day. Users on Facebook were directed to a federal website that would then direct them to sites in their home states. Twitter will roll out a similar voter registration tool Tuesday, a company spokesman said. Facebook reminded users to sign up by placing reminders at the top of newsfeeds and by allowing users to declare to their friends that they had registered. SnapChat ran in-house advertisements featuring celebrities like actors Jared Leto, Jimmy Fallon and Dwayne Johnson and the singer Ciara.
“Going back to 2008, we’ve been reminding people on Facebook to vote on Election Day and directing them to information on where to vote,” said Samidh Chakrabarti, who manages civic engagement products for Facebook. “This is the natural next step.”
As the reminders began appearing on social sites, several state offices reported record interest in their websites.
On Friday, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said his state’s online registration system recorded a 2,500 percent increase in the number of requests it received compared to the same date last year. More than 16,000 Georgia voters sought to update their information or register to vote that day, said Candice Broce, the office’s spokeswoman.