To help voters prepare for election day, Facebook has launched Candidate Info, a new tool to allow them to learn more about candidates, their ideas, and their goals.
Many people use Facebook to voice their opinions on issues that they care about and feel strongly about and engage with their elected officials. According to Facebook’s statistics, there are currently “over 25 million people in the US” who “follow at least one of their elected officials” on the platform.
And as Mike Hogan, Facebook’s Product Manager of Civic Engagement explains in a newsroom post, “in the past month alone, over 4 million people in the US commented on, reacted to, or shared a post by one of their elected officials, including 1.5 million that interacted with a state or local elected official.” One of the tools it uses as part of the effort to connect people and elected officials and candidates is Candidate Info.
The tool, launched last week, allows people to “hear directly from their federal, state, and local candidates.” With the tool, candidates can inform voters on anything like why they’re running for office, what they want to accomplish if they’re elected, or the policies they feel strongly about.
This is not Facebook’s first such effort. It all began ahead of the 2016 elections. Then in 2017, Facebook launched Town Hall, a tool that allowed people to easily contact elected officials.
After creating Townhall, Facebook found that people really wanted to hear directly from candidates “in their own words.” The Candidate Info tool allows them to watch videos created by candidates, or find general information about them.
In these videos, candidates will need to introduce themselves to voters and tell them about the office they’re running for, explain what their top policy priority is, and why they are the right person to work on it.
Furthermore, they will have to explain what makes them “most qualified” to represent a district, and what is the most important goal they hope to accomplish if they are voted into office. Finally, candidates will also have to explain how they plan to get it done.
Videos can be accessed from within the “2018 Election” link in the Facebook app’s menu, or from News Feed. Voters can also find the candidates’ Facebook Pages, Profiles, or related Facebook ads.
Finally, Facebook is helping voters find out where to vote with its vote planning tool.
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