Social media playing a bigger role in voter turnout

Posted at 8:42 AM, Nov 05, 2018

More than 600,000 Marylanders cast their ballots during early voting this year, and Tuesday is your last chance to head to the polls and make your voice heard.

The only other time we saw this high of early voting numbers was for the 2016 general election. While an increase of political tension spreading across the country may have something to do with these numbers, officials say the role of social media may also be getting voters to the polls.

Governor Larry Hogan spent $190,000 for his re-election campaign on Facebook, while his challenger Ben Jealous spent $3,000. In the race for Baltimore County Executive, Republican Al Redmer spent $13,000 while Democrat Johnny Olszewski Jr. spent $23,000.

Professor of media studies voice at Notre Dame of Maryland University, Britt Christensen, says this trend has to do with the increasing amount of time and attention we give to social media. 

"We spend a lot of time on these platforms, and they also give the campaigns themselves good data of who we are, maybe who the persuadable voters are so they can target market," Christensen explained.

And you could see on social media how some of the candidates spent their last weekend before Election Day.

Ben Jealous was out campaigning with the help of comedian Dave Chappelle, helping people carry their groceries.

And Governor Larry Hogan caught up with Ravens fans out tailgating.

Another social media trend you can expect to see on Tuesday is voters posted pictures of their 'I voted' stickers worn like a badge of honor.