Attempting to help U.S. voters understand their ballot this election cycle, Facebook has launched a new tool that directs voters to information about candidates such as stances on issues, endorsements, recent Facebook posts and campaign websites.
Within the guide, you can add a candidate to your favorites list in order to walk into the voting booth with a detailed list of preferred candidates. After making all your selections, Facebook included a tool at the bottom of the voter guide to email yourself a copy of that preferred list.
Describing the motivation about creating a voter guide, Facebook product marketing manager Jeremy Galen said “We are encouraging civic engagement because we want to make it easier for people to participate and have a voice in the political process…We want to help people get information about the candidates and issues all the way down the ballot.”
To accomplish this, Facebook uses basic information about your state of residence to auto-fill the major races and statewide ballot propositions. As an optional feature, you can input your home address in order to see a more specific list of candidates and local ballot measures. Facebook provides a summary of the ballot propositions, links to public posts about the propositions and an option to ask your Facebook friends about their opinion of each ballot measure.
Of course, you can also share your list of preferred candidates with your Facebook friends directly from the voter guide. Since some Facebook users may want to keep their Presidential candidate preference private in order to avoid arguments with friends or family members, you can limit what you share on your feed to the down ballot races in your area.
Facebook has also included a tool to help you find local polling places. That link sends users to a site called Get to the Polls and requests a registered voting address in order to accurately provide a polling location. That site also includes the hours a polling place is open for early voting as well as Election Day voting.