Facebook Is Key To Ballot Initiatives In Ohio And Maine

Facebook’s key role in this year’s elections extends far beyond the presidential primaries and even races for other offices. Campaigns for state ballot initiatives are using the social network to educate voters about the issues as well.

Before the presidential primaries kick-off in January, voters will go to the polls to weigh-in on ballot initiatives as early as November 8.

Maine and Ohio have some of the more active Facebook campaigns for ballot initiatives — here’s a quick look at what they’re doing on the social network.

Question 1 In Maine

A law passed this year in Maine repealed the state’s 40-year tradition of allowing same day voter registration.

A ballot question on November 8 will ask voters to reinstate the old law, by repealing the new legislation.

The campaign to that effect is called “Yes on Question 1,” and a video created to explain the issues has been circulating on Facebook. We’ve embedded a copy of it beneath this post.

Issue 2 In Ohio

Issue 2 is the voter referendum on Senate Bill 5 in Ohio.

This Republican-backed law passed earlier this year to restrict the collective bargaining power of Ohio’s public unions.

PolitiFact says the law affects about 360,000 public workers from teachers to firefighters.

Both sides are using Facebook as part of a larger effort to sway voters to their side before the November 8 vote.

The anti-Issue 2 Facebook page, We are Ohio, has more than 92,000 fans.

The Building a Better Ohio page, which takes a pro-Issue 2 stance, has more than 4,000 likes.

Both sides are employing a range of social media tools.

Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, helped pass SB 5 and says its a tool to balancing the state budget.

The ballot initiative has done little to diminish the governor’s popularity on Facebook.

His page has more than 38,000 likes, and he has seen his popularity on the social networking site steadily rise in the last several weeks, according to our Election Tracker 2012.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney gave fodder to his Republican critics last week when he said he would leave it to Ohioans to decide on Issue 2, then proceeded to weigh in on the ballot initiative.

The flap hasn’t necessarily hurt his Facebook following. According to our Election Tracker, Romney has more than 1.1 million Facebook fans and added more than 10,000 page likes in just the last week.

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