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Voting Goes Viral: Social Media Encourages NC Voter Registration

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013   

RALEIGH, N.C. - Thousands of Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr news feeds will all share the same update on Friday: a reminder that Oct. 11 is the deadline for North Carolinians to register to vote in the upcoming local elections.

It's called a "thunderclap" in social-media-speak, a way to spread a message with a click of a button. Shannah Sayers, deputy director of the Southern Coaltion for Social Justice and organizer of the effort, said it reaches far beyond her organization's 2,000 Facebook followers.

"Two months ago, I would have just done a Facebook post," she said. "But now, with this technology, we're talking 44,000 instead of 2,000. It's amazing."

That 44,000 is Friday's estimated audience size, based on the number of people participating so far.

North Carolinians in many counties will vote Nov. 5 in local elections. Sayers says it's also important for people to know that a government issued ID is not required to vote until 2016. Voters only need their name and address to cast a ballot.

While turnout is historically low for local elections, Sayers noted that the candidates who are elected will have a direct impact on many issues that are important to voters.

"We just want to encourage people to know that their local elected officials can be just as important in provision of vital services as national elected figures," she said.

To participate in the North Carolina Voter Registration "thunderclap," go to SouthernCoalition.org or thunderclap.it.


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