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Facebook wants to be your guide on Election Day

A new feature gives you info on federal, state and local contests and lets you put together a voting plan.

Now that the presidential debates are over, Facebook wants to help you prepare for the last political battleground: the voting booth.

The social-media company unveiled a feature this week designed to help users create a voting plan, showing not just presidential candidates but also information on statewide elections. Should you want to dive down to the local level, you can give Facebook your address and the company will tell you what's on the ballot in your neck of the woods.

Facebook wants you to ditch pen and paper and instead use the social network's new feature to help map out how you'll vote.

Facebook wants you to ditch pen and paper and instead use the social network's new feature to help map out how you'll vote.


Facebook said data for the feature is being gathered by the nonpartisan Center for Technology and Civic Life, and candidates for each race are being presented in random order in a horizontal scroll. From there, each candidate's issue positions, endorsements, recent social-media posts and website can be quickly accessed for review.

After you develop a voting plan, Facebook will let you email a copy to yourself to take with you to the voting booth. (Note: You might need to print it out; many states don't allow phone use while voting. Another note: In case you haven't heard, the contents of your emails isn't necessarily inaccessible to outsiders. Just sayin'.)

Of course, Facebook will also let you publicly share on its site who your favorite candidates are, if you want to.

Perhaps more interesting -- for those who'd like to inspire a political tug-of-war in their social-media feeds -- Facebook also includes an "Ask for Advice" button that opens up a window for posting to the News Feed. Facebook says you can also ask for advice privately through its Messenger feature.

Facebook's elections feature is another example of how social-media companies have been working to capture as much of the conversation around the 2016 presidential race as possible.

So far, Facebook and Twitter both have streamed the debates between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. YouTube created an Election Spaces program to encourage its video personalities to make election-themed content. And let's not even get started on how social media propelled Ken Bone from his position as an unknown Midwesterner to a place in the national limelight, where among other things, he's busied himself endorsing a giant gummy bear.