Facebook reminds users to register to vote - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Facebook reminds users to register to vote

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

On Friday, Facebook launched an initiative to get more people to register to vote. Some users who logged on were greeted by a reminder at the top of their newsfeeds to get out and register.

When users click on the "register" option, they are transported to the vote.usa.gov page, where they can select the state they live in. 

When the Harrison County Circuit Clerks office tried it out, only three out of five of them were able to access the page. Circuit Clerk Connie Ladner likes the message, but she isn't fully convinced it will work. 

"There's a lot of issues that could come up. I know there are people that create fictitious Facebook pages for whatever reason. If that person turned 18 with whatever birthday they put in, they would obviously be receiving the link to be able to vote, and they're not even a real person," said Ladner. 

The problem with courting the youth vote is not as simple as providing a link. Currently, Mississippi is one of 21 states that do not offer online registration. After speaking to several teens, it could cause a major deficit in votes.

"I'm not, because I don't have time," said Madison Schilling, 18. 

"I'm not, and honestly, it’s just because I don't know how," said Malerie Pike, 19.

"I wasn't sure which county to vote in, because I have two houses," said Bailey Rogers, 19.

They all agreed that they'd be more likely to vote if they could complete the process online.

"It would be so much easier for me to do it online, just because I always have my phone," said Pike.

Ladner said she is all for online registration.

"Whatever we can try to do to assist the people, not just the younger people, but people that just don't have time to come and stop by the office," said Ladner.

The move toward online registration will be presented to the legislature this session and may be implemented as early as the end of the year. 

For those who want their voices heard, Ladner said the registration process takes no more than 10 minutes, which is a lifetime to some teens. 

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