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March 27, 2017

Facebook will remind you to vote in local elections

by John_A

Facebook isn’t limiting its get-out-the-vote initiatives to federal elections. The social network is now offering reminders to vote in local US elections, whether they’re at the county, municipal or state level. You’ll see these notices as long as you’re in an area with over 10,000 people, and they’ll include primaries in addition to general elections. It could be crucial to spurring interest in frequently neglected regional elections, especially in tandemn with Facebook’s officially launched Town Hall feature.

If you’re not familiar with Town Hall, we’ll recap: if you visit the new section (under the More menu), you’ll get a list of all your political representatives at federal, state and local levels. You’ll at least get to visit their Facebook pages, but you can also call or email a politician if they volunteer that information on Facebook. You’ll also receive an invitation to contact a rep if you like or comment on one of their posts, and you can share your decision to reach out with others interacting with the same politician. It’s not clear why you can’t share that initiative with everyone, but TechCrunch believes it’s likely to avoid implying that Facebook is advocating for specific political actions.

Both additions are part of Facebook’s broader attempt to take responsibility for its effect on politics. The company doesn’t just want to fight fake news — it wants to promote overall political awareness. While these efforts won’t necessarily sway your opinion, there’s a real chance you’ll be more informed the next time you head to the voting booth.

Source: TechCrunch

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