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California Online Voter Registration Spikes After Facebook Issues Reminder

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Despite long-exaggerated reports of the internet eventually leading to the fall of civilized society, it looks like Facebook has—yet again—had a markedly positive effect on civic engagement.

On Monday, Californians who logged into their Facebook accounts were met with a reminder to register to vote, along with a direct link to the state's online voter registration website. And, according to the office of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the results were "stunning."

(Courtesy of Secretary of State's Office)
Padilla reported Thursday that the effort had yielded a marked spike in online voter registration, with nearly 200,000 transactions (either registrations, or updates of registration information) completed on the state's online voter registration website during that Monday and the following Tuesday. More than 60 percent of those transactions were completed by Californians under the age of 36.

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“Monday’s registration activity was the second highest in the nearly four year history of California’s online voter registration site,” Padilla said.

"By providing a platform for civic engagement and reminding people in California to vote, Facebook makes it easier for people to participate and have a real impact on the political process,” Katie Harbath, Director of Government and Politics at Facebook said in a statement. The reminder ran from Monday, May 16 through Wednesday, May 18 and was visible to Facebook users in California who will be 18 or older on Election Day.

P.S. You have until this coming Monday, May 23, to register to vote. For your convenience, we have linked to the online voter registration website once in every single paragraph of the above article, so you really have no excuse. Please register, please vote.

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