Social Media Outages on Super Tuesday Impact Access to Critical Voter Information

We urge social media companies to devote resources to training, testing, and the development of procedures to address future media outages on election days.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, Alabama Forward, Greater Birmingham Ministries, and Lift Our Vote, are non-partisan organizations that participate in election protections work on the local, state, and national level. These organizations facilitate programs which allow everyday people to report issues, disinformation, or intimidation that they face when exercising their right to vote.

On March 5, 2024, members of our election protection coalition received numerous reports from community members who were experiencing outages on Meta’s social apps, including Facebook and Instagram.[1] For this outage to occur on “Super Tuesday,” the day in which 15 states and one territory hold nomination contests for state and federal elections, raises numerous concerns.[2] These outages restrict the ability of non-partisan organizations, churches, and volunteers to disseminate information about how their community members can access the ballot.

Social media is a critical tool for non-partisan voting rights organizations to disseminate information about polling locations and hours. In addition to providing people with the necessary logistical information to have their voices heard at the ballot box, social media is also utilized to inform voters of their rights and protections. At times, these developments occur on Election Day itself, which requires a rapid response and immediate dissemination of information to voters.

Utilizing social media to inform Alabama voters has been critical since the Supreme Court’s decision in Allen v. Milligan, which led to the creation of a new congressional district in Montgomery, Alabama.[3] Yesterday, for the first time, Alabamians in all or parts of 13 counties – stretching from Mobile to Montgomery – voted in this newly created 2nd congressional district.[4]

While providing accurate information to voters regarding their designated polling place is always important, it is crucial during elections where not only polling locations are changing, but entirely new districts are in place.

Social media also allows non-partisan voting rights organizations to disseminate information quickly and at low costs relative to other education and outreach tools. Additionally, social media removes geographic barriers that typically impede information from flowing into rural areas, including the predominately rural Black Belt region of the 2nd congressional district. For example, yesterday, the Montgomery County Board of Registrars announced that 4,600 voters in Montgomery County received postcards which provided incorrect information regarding their congressional district.[5] Specifically, these postcards incorrectly told voters living in the new 2nd congressional district that they were living in the 7th congressional district.

Such an error, on the eve of a critical election, required a rapid, low-cost, accessible response. Social media allowed non-partisan organizations the ability to quickly distribute the State government website where voters could confirm their assigned congressional district, registration status, ballot status, and polling location. Other tools – such as flyers, television ads, or in-person outreach – would have been insufficient to address the urgency of this issue and would have come at costs often outside the reach of non-profits, community organizations, and volunteers.

Similarly, yesterday – on the day of elections – a polling precinct in Jefferson County, Alabama did not receive enough ballots for the 1,700 people who were registered to vote at that location. Judge Jim Naftal, who oversees elections in Jefferson County, entered an order extending the hours of the Brighton Community Center polling precinct to account for the error.[6] While every other polling precinct in Jefferson County was set to close at 7 p.m., the Brighton Community Center precinct’s voting hours were extended until 9:30 p.m. Again, social media was a critical tool for non-partisan organizations to disseminate this information quickly, at low cost, to voters in that region.

All Alabamians, regardless of race, gender, or ability, should have an equal and unobstructed opportunity to vote. Access to information is a critical component of election protection work. However, even limited interruptions disrupt the ability of non-partisan organizations to disseminate information that directly impacts everyday people’s ability to exercise their right to vote.

We urge social media companies to devote resources to training, testing, and the development of procedures to address future media outages on election days.

Alison Mollman
Laurel Hattix
American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama
P.O. Box 6179
Montgomery, AL 36106

Deanna Fowler
Alabama Forward
[email protected]

Tari D. Williams
Greater Birmingham Ministries
2304 12th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35234

Jessica Fortune Barker
Lift Our Vote
2304 12th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35234

[1] Jonathan Limehouse, “Was Facebook Down on Super Tuesday? Users Reported Outages on Primary Election Day,” USA Today (March 5, 2024),

[2] Jude Sheerin, “Super Tuesday: What is It and Why is It Important?,” BBC News (March 5, 2024),

[3] Kyle Gassiott, “Court Ruling on Black Political Power in Alabama Could Affect Maps in Other States,” NPR (June 9, 2023),

[4] John Sharp, “How Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District Plays a Role in Determining Control of the U.S. House,” (March 5, 2024),

[5] Ralph Chapoco, “Montgomery County Board of Registrars: 4,600 People Received Erroneous Voting Information,” Alabama Reflector (March 5, 2024),

[6] “Ballot Issue Delays Voting at Brighton Precinct,” WBRC (March 5, 2024),