Facebook says it has helped 2.5 million people register to vote

Ahead of National Voter Registration Day tomorrow, Facebook says it is playing its part in getting people registered to vote in the 2020 presidential election.

Facebook announced it has helped 2.5 million people register to vote, and that it aims to get 4 million eligible voters registered. “It’s a promising start,” the company announced Monday, “but we have more work to do.”

This figure of voters registered includes those registered on Facebook, as well as other Facebook-owned apps like Instagram and Messenger. Facebook says it was particularly important to encourage registration and to give out accurate information on registering due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is making it harder for people to access information.

With six weeks to go before the election, registration dates for many states are coming up soon. In the last week, U.S. users of Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger have seen notifications about voting that redirect them to their state’s official websites for online registration. Facebook says it will continue showing these notifications until September 25.

Other programs the company is using to promote registration and voting include a “More Questions, More Answers” campaign to direct people to its Voter Information Center, a virtual Vote-a-Thon event, and an early voting feature that will provide information about polling locations and hours.

Facebook has been trying to make itself a less disruptive force in the 2020 election than it was in the 2016 election. This year, the social network has been trying to mitigate the spread of misinformation by banning political ads in the week before Election Day and has introduced projects like its Voter Information Center, which aims to “protect the integrity of our elections” and “navigate a confusing election process.”

Other social media platforms are pushing users to vote as well. Earlier this month, Snapchat announced it had helped 400,000 new voters.

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