The internet really, really wants you to register to vote

National Voter Registration Day has taken over the web, with the internet's most popular sites pushing to get out the vote.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
3 min read
Jason Cipriani/CNET

On the top websites in the US, you'll see the same theme.

Internet titans Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit are banding together to get out the vote this November.

With tens of millions of views every day, these five sites -- along with up to 4,000 other organizations -- will be urging Americans to register to vote. The effort comes a day after Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sparred in their first presidential debate.

Google got a head start on the National Voter Registration Day internet blitz. Its Doodle on Monday showed users a simple and effective tool for getting registered.

The movement started after 2008, when 6 million people couldn't vote because they were unaware of how to register, according to Matt Singer. He's the founder of National Voter Registration Day, which takes place the fourth Tuesday of September, and a proponent of a widespread web presence.

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On September 26, Google used its Doodle to push for voter registration.


"We want everyone to celebrate," Singer said in an interview. "A lot of web platforms are known for having a young audience, like Tumblr, but ... I think everyone in America uses Google."

Tumblr joined the push with a link directly to a voter registration page featured on the right side of its dashboard. Silicon Alley companies like AOL, Bitly, Foursquare and Kickstarter banded together through the hashtag #TechTurnsOut, reaching out in real life to New Yorkers in a concerted effort to increase voter registration.

Apps like DoorDash also joined in the effort, by delivering voter registration information straight to users' doorsteps, when it usually delivers meals. The delivery app is available in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Denver.

Based in Washington, DC, Phone2Action rolled out its Civic Action Center tool, that lets users check their voter registration status, register to vote, vote early and find polling sites.

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Facebook gets in on the voter registration action.

Screenshot by Laura Martínez/CNET

It's a rare occasion when a number of the country's top websites are singing in harmony. In 2012, Google, Wikipedia, Reddit and other pages "blacked out" in a protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Here's how the internet is banding together to help get out the vote:

Google: Google's registration tool includes options for registration and deadlines on when to get that done, based on your state. This year, for the first time, the search engine giant added voter registration information in Spanish.

Facebook: The social network's millions of active US users have already seen a post pinned to the top of their feeds encouraging users to register to vote. The push rolled out September 23, showing users above the age of 18 how to register, along with all their friends who have already registered.

YouTube: The video giant has campaigned heavily for its users to register to vote, using the hashtag #voteIRL. It has teamed up with channels like the Young Turks and The Fung Bros to get its viewers to vote and has been pushing videos that are one minute and 34 seconds -- the average time it takes to register to vote. It also tweaked its logo to include the hashtag.

Twitter: Users on Twitter will be able to join in the conversation and tell their friends and followers #iRegistered with the social network's official hashtag. The post comes with a custom emoji showing an American flag top hat with 2016 under it. Twitter is also hosting a kick-off event in Washington, DC, at 8:30 a.m. ET, with its vice president of public policy and philanthropy, Colin Crowell. #NationalVoterRegistrationDay is also trending on Twitter.

Reddit: The politics subreddit of the "Front Page of the Internet" is hosting an Ask Me Anything on how to register to vote as well as issues that young people are concerned about. The subreddit is teaming up with Rock the Vote for its step-by-step guide.

Snapchat: The voter registration app TurboVote is teaming up with Snapchat on Stories and Discover pages to help users get with the vote. Celebrities like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jimmy Fallon will be featured on Snapchat's stories to help users learn how to register to vote.

Pandora: The internet radio site has partnered up with HeadCount, encouraging listeners to register to vote off its mobile platform with messages from artists like The National and Dispatch. The call to action points out that users can register to vote in less than a minute -- before their songs are even finished.

Updated at 10:19 a.m. and 11:47 a.m. PT: Includes more details on organizations participating in National Voter Registration Day.