Oregon Using Facebook to Target Inactive Voters

The Secretary of State for Oregon is taking to social media in order to remind voters that they may need to update their registration before casting their votes.

Posted: Sep 18, 2018 2:16 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2018 2:58 PM

SALEM, Ore. — In a "first of its kind" program, Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson says that his office will be using Facebook as a targeted tool to reach inactive voters and notify them that they need to update their registration.

“Recent digital advances have created voter outreach opportunities never previously imagined,” said Secretary Richardson. “Facebook’s robust capabilities will allow us to communicate directly with inactive Oregon voters and encourage them to update their registration information to receive a ballot in November."

In Oregon, voters can be labeled "inactive" if mailed ballots or pamphlets are returned as undeliverable, if a registered voter has not voted or changed their registration in 10 years, or if they are imprisoned with a felony conviction, among other .

Voters must update their registration to be taken off the inactive list and receive a ballot.

“We want to extend every opportunity for Oregonians who are eligible to vote to be able to vote," Richardson said.

According to a statement from Richardson's office, a video of him explaining the process will "run exclusively to residents on the Elections Division's inactive voter list" beginning September 18. The statement did not go into detail on how this advertising can target specific individuals through Facebook.

The entire program is expected to cost less than $5,000, according to Richardson's office.

Despite his age, the 69-year-old Richardson has made a concerted effort to reach the public through social media of late — even taking to Facebook Live in June to answer questions after announcing that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

Richardson said in a recent video that he has been splitting his time between the capitol in Salem and telecommuting from the Secretary of State's southern Oregon office while cutting down on other travel in order to keep up on his work while receiving treatment.

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