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State Using Social Media Site to Boost Voting

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla's office is working with a social media network to encourage Californians to vote and to make it easier to do so. It's the first time the network has partnered with a secretary of state's office.

Five California counties — Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo — are adopting the Voter’s Choice Act this year, allowing voters to choose when, where and how to cast their ballot by mailing every voter a ballot, expanding in-person early voting, and allowing voters to cast a ballot at any vote center within their county. To that end, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and the Nextdoor social media network on Tuesday announced a new partnership to provide election information directly to voters in neighborhoods throughout counties adopting the Voter’s Choice Act in 2018.

Nextdoor is a free private social network for neighborhoods that's available on Web, iOS, and Android.

"On Nextdoor, neighbors create private online communities where they get to know one another, ask questions, and exchange advice and recommendations," the service says. 

"The secretary of state’s office will use the Nextdoor platform to directly contact neighborhoods in the counties adopting the Voter’s Choice Act," says a news release from Padilla's office. "Messages will inform voters about the changes coming to their elections, provide reminders about election deadlines, and direct them to the vote centers in their county. Nextdoor already reaches 92 percent of neighborhoods in the five counties adopting the Voter’s Choice Act in 2018."

This is the first time Nextdoor has partnered with a secretary of state's office.

"We have a diverse state, so there should be diverse ways in which to participate as voters," said Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. "The Voter's Choice Act allows us to do just that; to vote in person, drop off our ballot, vote using an accessible voting machine, get help with voting materials in multiple languages representing the beautiful diversity of our state or simply learn how to register to vote. All of these choices help equip Californians eager to participate in making our country a stronger union."