Facebook (FB) - Get Report will give its employees paid time off to volunteer as poll workers, in a bid to mitigate the poll-worker shortage caused by the pandemic, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Friday.
The move is part of a wider push by the Menlo Park, Calif., social-media platform to recruit poll workers above age 18 across the U.S., including its users on Facebook.
"Facebook is launching a poll worker recruitment drive this weekend, making it easy for people to sign up and serve as a poll worker with their state election authorities," Zuckerberg said.
"To do this, we will show a message at the top of News Feed to people in the U.S. over the age of 18," he added.
"We're less than two months away from the U.S. elections, and we are seeing a massive shortage of poll workers to staff voting stations. It is estimated that almost half a million poll workers will be needed this year," Zuckerberg further added.
Last week Facebook said it would be taking a series of steps to boost voter registration, reduce misinformation and interference with the 2020 presidential elections.
Facebook, whose role will be heavily scrutinized in the November election, said it would not accept new political ads in the week before the election; would remove posts that claim people will get coronavirus if they vote, and would add "authoritative information" about the coronavirus to posts that might use covid-19 to discourage voting.
On Sept. 3, Facebook also purged accounts and pages linked to a suspect media website called Peace Data for running deceptive campaigns linked to Russian bad actors.
At last check Facebook shares were trading down 1.5% at $264.08. The stock was up 31% in 2020 through the close of Thursday trading.