Facebook is launching an election worker recruitment campaign this weekend, adding messages to users’ news feeds with links to election worker registration pages in their state. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post announcing the campaign that it was part of the company’s larger voting information campaign that aims to help 4 million people register and vote.
“Voting is vote, and in a democracy it is the ultimate way to hold our leaders accountable and make sure the country is going in the direction we want,” wrote Zuckerberg.
The social media giant will also join dozens of other companies offering paid time off to employees in the U.S. who take polls on election day, according to Zuckerberg̵
Voting groups have been warning for months that the US could face a shortage of election workers in November. Many, if not most, of election workers are senior citizens who may decide to stay home on election day due to the coronavirus pandemic. It can take long hours, but the job is fairly straightforward and includes greeting voters, checking their registrations, and being shown to a voting booth. Anyone over 16 can register to vote, but more than 70 percent of states and jurisdictions had difficulty filling the jobs before the pandemic.
Last month, Facebook set up a voting information center that will shift its focus as Election Day approaches. It provides information on how to register and hire election workers, and later provides details on the voting process and ultimately the election results.
Facebook has taken further steps to avoid further election chaos on its platforms. The company said earlier this month it would stop running new political ads in the US in the week leading up to the election to protect itself from election nuisance. And it appears to pay some users to log out of their platforms before doing a research experiment voting.