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Facebook Reminder Spurs California Voter Registration

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – A Facebook reminder for users to register to vote prompted nearly 200,000 completed transactions on the state's online voter registration website over the weekend, according to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Padilla released a statement Tuesday that said the spike in activity on the registration site started last Friday and continued through Sunday. It coincided with a Facebook reminder to register that started appearing for users age 18 and up on Friday.

The reminder to register to vote appeared at the top of users' news feeds and provided a link to register.

"Friday's registration activity was the fourth highest in the four-year history of California's online voter registration site," Padilla said in a press statement. "Registering to vote is the first step to becoming an active voter."

Padilla went on to state that "Facebook has demonstrated the power of social media to engage more people to register to vote, helping thousands take a big step to casting a ballot this November."

On Friday, 123,279 Californians either registered or updated their registration information on the Secretary of State's online voter registration site. On Saturday, another 43,888 registrations and updates were completed, followed by an additional 29,256 registrations and updates on Sunday.

"Going back to 2008, we've been reminding people on Facebook to vote on Election Day and directing them to information on where to vote. This is the natural next step," said Facebook's Product Manager for civic engagement Samidh Chakrabarti.

The spike in online registration was fueled by younger voters. The online activity showed that almost 24 percent of these transactions were completed by Californians between the ages of 17 and 25. Almost 30 percent of the updates and registrations were completed by Californians between the ages of 26 and 35.

Prior to the Facebook reminder, an average of 9,307 people completed registrations or updates of registration information each day in September on the states voter registration site.

October 24 is the deadline to register for the November 8 general election.

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