Online and social media efforts have significantly increased the number of Connecticut residents who are registered to vote in the upcoming presidential election, according to state officials.
A nationwide Facebook initiative led to a spike in online voter registrations recently, said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.
Starting Sept. 23, Facebook launched a three-day campaign in which it posted a reminder encouraging all of its users to register to vote. It linked to a government website that redirected Connecticut users to the state’s online voter registration page.
During the promotion, online voter registrations in Connecticut jumped more than ten-fold compared with the same three-day period the previous week. From Sept. 23-25 – a Friday to Sunday – 14,883 online registrations were processed in the state, compared with just 1,155 from Sept. 16-18 the previous week, according to Merrill.
Soon after the Facebook promotion, on Tuesday (Sept. 27), registrations saw another surge on National Voter Registration Day. On that day, elected officials and other high-profile people in the state used the hashtag #MyVoteCT when sharing selfies, photos and messages encouraging voter registration.
The state received 6,099 online registrations Tuesday, compared with just 696 on the previous Tuesday, Merrill said.
Sports teams including the Connecticut Sun, Hartford Wolf Pack and Hartford Yard Goats joined the #MyVoteCT effort, and state officials said the hashtag trended on Twitter for several hours and received more than 400,000 impressions, according to the analytics website TweetReach.
“The impact was tremendous,” Merrill said in a statement. “We need to reach people where they are, and we know that social media can be a valuable tool to get people engaged in our democracy. The system works best when everyone participates.”
Residents have until Nov. 1 to register to vote, and can do so online, by mail or in person. Same-day registration will be available on Election Day, Nov. 8, but Merrill urges people to register in advance.
For more information about registering, visit myvote.ct.gov