Facebook is making it easier for users to cast their vote with a new feature that shows them who and what will be on their ballot.
Already the giant social network has reminded U.S. users 18 and up to register to vote, resulting in 2 million of them registering. It broadcast the presidential debates on Facebook. And, as it has since 2008, it will remind users to make sure their voices are heard on Nov. 8.
Now Facebook wants to help prepare people for the voter’s booth by offering information on the candidates and the issues, from the presidential election to local initiatives.
“We are encouraging civic engagement because we want to make it easier for people to participate and have a voice in the political process,” said Jeremy Galen, a Facebook product marketing manager.
Facebook says about 20 states mail out sample ballots ahead of an election, making it challenging to find a comprehensive source of information. It’s using data from the nonpartisan Center for Technology and Civic life to supply that information. The vote planner lets you save and print your choices.
“By now, we’ve all heard more than enough about the presidential candidates in this election,” Galen said. “We want to help people get information about the candidates and issues all the way down the ballot.”
The candidates are presented in random order in a horizontal scroll, Facebook says.
Users can click on the issues tab to view information the candidates have provided about their policy positions, the endorsement tab to make an endorsement or to see who else has endorsed the candidate, and add a candidate to your favorites.
Facebook will show users information about the presidential candidates as well as candidates for statewide races. To get information about local elections, users must provide their address.