Alachua County voter registration skyrockets thanks to social media

Published: Jul. 27, 2018 at 6:37 PM EDT
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The Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office said this week that voter registration is skyrocketing, and they are crediting social media. With the deadline coming quickly for the August 28th primary, they're excited about the jump, which has caused them to bring in reinforcements.

Walk into the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office and it might seem like any other workplace. But behind the counter, the fate of the next election is being processed.

"We've seen a really big jump in the engagement there," Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections William Boyett said.

Thanks in part to a push by Facebook to register voters online, Boyett said the amount of people registering or making changes to their registration has doubled.

"We've been seeing that when we leave in the evening, we tend to have just as many applications waiting to process as when we started in the morning," Boyett said.

On a good week, they might see 100 to 150 new registrations, but this week was different.

"[We received] more than four times a typical week since that social media engagement started," Boyett said.

He said elections clerks have been working extra hours and temp workers have been brought in to deal with the influx.

Elections clerk Kandy Rochow's been manning the phones.

"We're getting so many people responding and even just with general questions we get on the phone," Rachow said.

They said while it's not easy work...

"The excitement helps offset the fatigue," Boyett said.

He hopes this means more people head to the polls.

"Registering to vote is important but getting out and casting your ballot is what turns that registration into your voice," Boyett said.

And there's potential for many new voices to be heard on election day.

Registration deadline for the August 28th primary is Monday, July 30th. That will be your last opportunity to register or change your party affiliation.

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