Facebook is partnering with the United Kingdom Electoral Commission to drive voter registration for the upcoming General Election scheduled for May 7. The move will see the social media company show every adult user of Facebook in the United Kingdom a message on Thursday, reminding them to go out register to vote ahead of the General Election, which has been scheduled to hold on May 7, according to The Next Web.
The company’s point is that 27 million people in the United Kingdom visit Facebook every day, while 35 million go to the site at least once in a month. Reports say the General Election held in 2010 recorded a total vote cast of 29 million.
The Next Web also reports that people who have attained the mandatory voting age in the United Kingdom will also be able to add a ‘Life Event’ to their Facebook timeline as proof of registration. A recent research made public by the Electoral Commission revealed that 40 percent of people still do not know that online registration to vote is a possibility.
This year’s General Election will mark the very first time people in the United Kingdom will be able to register to vote online through the Gov.uk site. The Electoral Commission will also be running targeted Facebook ads to reach citizens who though, are still below the age legally allowed for vote, but will be 18 by the time the election takes place by May 7.
The Director of Communication at the Electoral Commission, Alex Robertson said:
“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Facebook again to reach those who will be eligible to vote on polling day. We saw at the Scottish Independence Referendum that young people are passionate and engaged about the issues that affect their lives. It’s vital that we continue to reach them on platforms like Facebook with information that’s accessible to them. Anyone not yet registered, should visit: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote now.”
Recall that the social media giant, with more than 1.3 billion users ran similar campaign during the United States’ midterm election and the outcome was highly successful. Reports said the outcome was very impressive as there was a turnout of about a third of a million voters. The report, which was made public by the University of California, showed that “peer pressure helps to get out the vote.” It also demonstrated that social networks can influence important “real-world behaviour.”