Free Press Journal

US Elections: Facebook wants to help US voters to decide


New York: With November 8 election day just around the corner, Facebook has introduced a new feature to help voters decide who they want to be their next president.

“Today, we’re introducing a new feature that shows you what’s on the ballot — from candidates to ballot initiatives,” Facebook announced on Friday.

Although the Facebook vote planner shows where the candidates stand on the issues before you make your selection, the social networking giant denies that it wants to make any kind of interference with your choice.

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“How you vote is a personal matter, and we’ve taken steps to make sure that you have utmost control over your plan,” Facebook said in a statement.  “

After you make a selection, you have to choose who you want to be able to see it (“Only me” or “Friends”). For example, you may want to be private about your choice for president, but share with friends your pick for a congressional race or a ballot initiative,” it added.

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On the election day, Americans will not only decide who their next president or vice president will be, but they will also vote for some new members of Congress, state governors, as well as state and local officials. And as not all states in the US mail out sample ballots ahead of an election, this can make it challenging to find comprehensive information about the questions voters will be expected to consider when they walk into the voting booth.

“Thanks to data gathered from election officials by the nonpartisan Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), we can present you with a preview of the ballot you’ll receive on November 8,” Facebook said.

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With the new feature, you can preview the races and issues you will see on your ballot, learn more about the candidates and their positions, then email yourself your choices for later reference.  The feature presents candidates in random order. Users can view their issue positions (information candidates have provided about their policy positions), their endorsements, recent posts and their website.

“You can also add a candidate to your favorites to create your plan to bring with you on Election Day,” the statement said.