Washington state to become first to offer voter registration on Facebook
July 18th, 2012
06:46 PM ET
2 years ago

Washington state to become first to offer voter registration on Facebook

(CNN) – Washington will become the first state to offer voter registration via Facebook with a new application to be launched as soon as next week, according to a state election official.

Once online, the app will be accessible on the secretary of state's Facebook page, said Shane Hamlin, co-director of elections for the state.

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Washington, which has approximately 3.7 million registered voters, conducts elections entirely by mail and enacted online registration in 2008. Since online registration started, Hamlin said close to 500,000 voter registrations or address changes have been processed.

Facebook, Washington state and Microsoft have teamed up to create an app that allows users to register on the social media site through the state's new "MyVote" app. The effort came about last fall when Microsoft approached Washington state after Facebook contacted the software giant with the idea.

When Facebook users download the application, they will have to agree to allow Facebook to access their information, including name and date of birth, which is pre-filled into the voter registration form.

Users will still need to enter information from a driver's license or state ID card number to verify their identities in real-time through a state database. Once you "like" the app you can recommend your friends to like it and download it too.

When asked about concerns on whether Facebook will have access to voters' information, Hamlin reassured voters that "Washington state is collecting the voter information, not Facebook"

Besides registering to vote on Facebook, Washington residents will be able to update personal information, access customized voter guides with candidate info and ballot measures, as well as access replacement ballots.

When asked about who the state was targeting for this app, Hamlin said the state didn't create this partnership to only target young people, but wanted to use Facebook's social media platform for all voters to access crucial voter/election information.

Washington residents aged 18-29 only accounted for 10% of voters during the 2008 presidential election according to CNN election results. President Barack Obama defeated Sen. John McCain 58-41% in Washington state four years ago.

Announced earlier this month, CNN and Facebook have partnered to offer an interactive and uniquely social experience for the upcoming presidential election for CNN's on-air, mobile and online audiences and Facebook's more than 160 million U.S. users.

The digital election partnership will measure social buzz, conduct voter surveys and also include the real-time 'I'm Voting' app to track voter commitments, endorse specific candidates and issues.


Filed under: 2012 • Facebook • Washington
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. t-bone

    facebook will be a grand way of verifying your citizenship – along with voting.

    July 19, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  2. t-bone

    Everyone should use facebook to make all their banking transactions and access to the social security system...

    July 19, 2012 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  3. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Out-Fricking-Standing Washington! Way to go! Now we need to make sure that republicans are not allowed to vote because it should be mandatory that you have common sense and a measurable amount of intelligence, which republicans do not possess. We need to SHUT down the GOP and their zombie ignorant Tear Pity Tea Party freaks.

    In Jesus name, AMEN.

    July 19, 2012 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  4. NotBorn Yesterday

    Massive voter fraud made easy. If you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em.

    July 19, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  5. Wayne

    Facebook, too much information online. What if facebook is bought by those buying the election? It fails to get those disenfranchised by voter suppression. If it did it might be worth it.

    July 19, 2012 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  6. canofsand

    "Users will still need to enter information from a driver's license or state ID card number to verify their identities in real-time through a state database."

    WHAT?! VERIFYING YOUR IDENTIY?! THAT'S RACIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111!!!!

    July 19, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  7. Sandy

    Why not just go to a regular site and register. I hate Facebook.

    July 19, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Sounds to me like Washington State is will ing to let anyone vote whether they are citizens, non citizens, aliens or dead people. Just as long as they vote dumocrat. Sounds typical for that state.

    July 19, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  9. mud

    god i hate facebook

    July 19, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  10. Dumbfounded

    Unreal! Libs attempt to facilitate voter fraud knows no bounds!!

    July 19, 2012 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  11. kestrel27

    Have to keep that voter Fraud alive for the Democrat Party. Man they must be getting desperate!

    July 19, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  12. Frank

    There is no low bar to measure how stupid this idea is. Facebook is where Luco Rotten Mcnatta (the serial killer) had 75 facebook accounts.

    July 19, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  13. emily

    great, now we will have nilly willies from all over the planet registering to vote. How's that going to work? Register at normal places like voter registration areas.

    July 19, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  14. Jason

    The last thing this country needs is more people voting! We have enough out there now who vote for a living and are nothing but leaches. If you are not a tax payer, you should have no say.

    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury."- Alexander Fraser Tytler

    July 19, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  15. Barry bin Inhalin

    A Blue, Blue state. Making a mockery of our most scared right – that of the vote for all of our eligible citizens. How surprising (not).

    July 19, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  16. JustAGuy

    Let the election fraud begin! :-/

    July 19, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  17. Fair is Fair

    I mean what could possibly go wrong????

    July 19, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  18. Ava Girl

    OMG, is about all one can say. Talk about the chance for voter fraud. Why don't we just declare Obama the king, get it over with, hand over our entire check to the government and get our food stamps and let the government turn our utilities on and off as they see fit, or as which party we voted for. If you do not think it can happen, vote for him again..

    July 19, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  19. kocabill

    Well, this will keep Washington Democratic. vote early, vote ofter

    July 19, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  20. GST72

    Someone needs to tell Eric Holder and the Department of Justice (DoJ) about this! Washington state is requiring a state issued ID (driver's lisence or ID card with a traceable number to the applicant) to register to vote and this is a very deap "blue" state. I wonder if the DoJ will file suite against the state because they are disenfanchising voters by using this method to register to vote. Also, since all voting is done by mail, does the state require an address?

    July 19, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  21. omstrat

    Oh yea , no chance of voter fraud there huh ? The Democrats will have a field day scamming the voting in Washington.
    Meanwhile the Democrats are still fighting picture IDs in order to vote..more proof they want to scam the system..AS THEY ALWAYS DO

    July 19, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  22. omstrat

    No chance of voter fraud there huh ? The Democrats will have a field day

    July 19, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  23. Perspectus

    Why no! No possiblity of fraud here... lets offer this everywhere!
    /sarc

    July 19, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
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