There was an increase in online voter registration in September in California, Indiana, and Minnesota. The increase was mainly attributed to Facebook. The social network site displayed a voter registration reminder for four consecutive days on its users’ profiles. Moreover, they posted a link that took the users to the state’s registration site.
The reminder appeared on Facebook for the first time on September 23. On that day, 123,279 people registered to vote or updated their registration information online in California. According to The New York Times, that was the fourth–highest total for online registration since it was launched in September 2012. Alex Padilla, California’s Secretary of State, said that Facebook had done a good job by influencing the people to register and exercise their civic duty of voting.
Other companies such as Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Thrillist, Casper, and DataXu have encouraged people to vote by giving their workers paid off to vote on the big day. Some companies have gone a step ahead to promote the general elections in November. For instance, Liberal ice cream makers launched Empower Mint that comes with a dose of Democracy. The company said online that their fudge-filled flavor reflects their belief that voting brought a sense of empowerment to the people.
Recently, Google featured a voter-registration-themed doodle on its interface. Virgin America also aired a video during their flights to encourage the passengers to use the plane’s Wi-Fi to register online and address issues that were popular among the youth like LGBT rights, renewable energy, and gun control. The Vice President of Marketing at Rock the Vote said that the goal of the company was to make many people register as voters. The company has partnered with Virgin America to convey the message during flights.
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez of Columbia University said that most companies do not encourage their staff talking about religion, politics, or sex. He continued by saying that it was increasingly difficult for working colleagues to keep silent about political matters. The increase in voter participation in the elections will impact national business regulations and the workers.