October 28, 2016
November 8 is around the corner and we want to help you get the information you need to prepare for Election Day.
Voting is important — and everyone deserves to have the tools to exercise this basic right. That’s why, alongside other companies, we’re encouraging civic participation. We want to make it easier for people who want to participate to do so, and to have a voice in the political process.
Earlier this year, you may have seen our voter registration reminders or watched the presidential debates live on Facebook.
Today, we’re introducing a new feature that shows you what’s on the ballot — from candidates to ballot initiatives. We also show you where the candidates stand on the issues — whether they are running for president or a local office like city council.
Make Your Own Voting Plan
Not all states in America mail out sample ballots ahead of an election. This can make it challenging to find comprehensive information about the questions you’ll be expected to consider when you walk into the voting booth. Thanks to data gathered from election officials by the nonpartisan Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), we can present you with a preview of the ballot you’ll receive on November 8. If you notice an issue with the CTCL data, we’ve built in a way for you to provide feedback and help correct the dataset.
Facebook’s vote planner is tailor-made for you. You can preview the races and issues you’ll see on your ballot, learn more about the candidates and their positions, then email yourself your choices for later reference.
The candidates are presented in random order in a horizontal scroll and there are several ways to interact with the candidate profiles. You can view their issue positions (information candidates have provided about their policy positions), their endorsements, recent posts and their website. You can also add a candidate to your favorites to create your plan to bring with you on Election Day.
When you first visit this feature, we will show you information about the candidates running for president and statewide races. If you would like information about your local election, you will be asked to add your address. This is optional.
How you vote is a personal matter, and we’ve taken steps to make sure that you have utmost control over your plan. After you make a selection, you have to choose who you want to be able to see it (“Only me” or “Friends”). For example, you may want to be private about your choice for president, but share with friends your pick for a congressional race or a ballot initiative.
Many people look to friends and family for information and guidance about how to vote, so if you’re undecided about a race you can ask your friends for advice on Messenger. If you decide to make a choice visible to friends, they can see it inside their own voting plan (it won’t create a post in News Feed).
And, on Election Day, as we’ve done since 2008 in the US, and 47 countries worldwide, we’ll remind you to vote.
To get started, please visit facebook.com/elections/yourplan.