Social Media

Facebook, Instagram to soon pin vote-by-mail explainers at top of feeds

Facebook and Instagram - Appy Pie

Anyone of voting age beginning this weekend within the US will start seeing informational videos at the top of Instagram and Facebook providing suggestions and state-specific tips on easy methods to vote by mail.

These vote-by-mail videos will run on Facebook for almost 4 straight days in each state, starting From October 10 to October 18 depending on the local registration deadlines.

Instagram will run the videos in all 50 states of the country on October 15 and 16, which will be followed by other notifications and announcements with regards to vote-by-mail information over the next two days. These videos will be provided in each English and Spanish.

The videos will let voters understand when they can return a ballot in person, explain to make them sign carefully on additional envelopes that might encourage returning ballots as soon as possible. Facebook will carry on with its task to provide state-specific voting information on its platform in a voting information center dedicated to the 2020 election.

In past years, app makers have taken up the responsibility of informing their users to vote in the US general election. It’s impossible to open Snapchat or Credit Karma app without being reminded to register.

Snapchat reveals it has registered around 400,000 new voters through its own reminders and Facebook boasts that it helped 2.5 million people register to vote this year.

Voting rights experts are highly concerned that 2020’s rapid scale-up of vote-by-mail might lead to many ballots being thrown out — a worry predicted by the half a million ballots that were thrown out in state primaries. Some of those ballots were deemed invalid due to mistakes the voters committed when filling them out and some ballots even failed to meet deadlines.

Adding to concerns of voting rights experts is that state rules vary and they can be specific and confusing for voters new to voting through the mail. For instance, in Pennsylvania new rules against naked ballots mean that any ballot not cast in an additional secrecy sleeve will be thrown out. In other states, secrecy sleeves have since long been optional.

Facebook also off late broadened its rules prohibiting voter intimidation to ban calls for polls keeping a watch on use of militaristic language, like the Trump campaign’s own effort to recruit an Army for Trump to hold its political enemies to account on the Election Day. Facebook also announced that it would suspend political advertising after Election Night, a policy that will likely remain in place until the results of the election are clear.