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. FaceBust

    Facebook, where the user IS the product, to be sold to the highest bidder. Next up: voting online with no paper trail. See where this is heading? Guess this insures Washington State (at least the Puget Sound region) will remain Blue and Socialist.

    July 18, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. lumbertiger27

    Gee - why even have elections? Voting by mail in Washington and Oregon is such a total joke - may as well just implant a chip in every human over 18 that they can activate and have instant voting on every kind of decision - total democracy (aka mob rule!). Execute the businessman who made a profit (Bill Gates)? Vote yes or no all at once - Shut down all Interstate highways in the state for good? SURE, if (right after a negative Facebook thread) 50.0011% of the mind-numbed robots are well enough programmed to respond as desired. Cut off benefits to anyone over 65? Why not? The votes are there from the under-65 who have to PAY to cover those Medicare costs! UTOPIA will be reached in approximately one year – and then nirvana....

    July 18, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  3. Terry

    OH Yea like there will be NO FRAUD with this. Yea Right.....

    July 18, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. lumbertiger27

    Vote by mail in Washington and Oregon - and now register via Facebook!? Why not take it one step further and allow instant voting on just about any issue - maybe with an implanted chip that registers on a super computer instantly (so we do not crash FB). Let's see - Execute a businessman (Bill Gates?) who made an excess profit (I mean, why is Microsoft not free?)? Run a few negative FB threads - and maybe the votes are there. Stop all Medicare payments to anyone over 65? Why not? There are plenty of under-65 voters not happy about paying for THEIR benefits! Shut down all Interstate highways through Washington State and while at it, blow up every dam? Just run a few scary stories, and you can incite the MOB (pure democracy, right?) to vote for just about anything. We USED to be appalled at lynch mobs - whether in the Deep South or the Wild West - but today, we are creating a madhouse!

    July 18, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. acd

    They have to make it easier for the democrat voter base, aka illegal aliens, to vote.
    It was to much work recounting votes to steal the win.

    July 18, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. michael lee

    so you need an ID to register but you don't need one to actually vote!??!

    July 18, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Brewster

    I'm sure this will work out well ... for the democrats, and to the detriment of the country at large.

    July 18, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. osamaspajamas

    Cool, now how can I register 90 million more Democrats, dogs, cats, felons, goldfish and tweetybirds? Is there any way to verify the identity of the person who is registering? Any anti-fraud controls? Voter ID, anybody?

    July 18, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. John

    How do they screen applicants to ensure they are citizens and not illegal aliens?

    July 18, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. Keebosr

    Voter registration through Facebook, that fortress of online security and honesty. What could possibly go wrong?

    July 18, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  11. bikertrash

    Now i remember why I don't want to live there,aside from the crime,lousy weather,crazy cost of living,now it will be the voter fraud capital of the country. Lots of luck.Isn't that whacko Patty Murray from there ?

    July 18, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  12. Dmacwired

    You have got to be kidding! Apart from the idea of voter fraud appearing to be made easier with on line registration, you risk your personal security by giving Facebook and who knows who else the intimate details of your identity. Yeah shoowar, that's the ticket!

    July 18, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. Orson

    This is the state that reversed a republican governorship win 2 recounts until they "FOUND" more democrat votes to declare the dimocrat the winner 8 years ago. They are totally crooked.........

    July 18, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Will be hacked

    July 18, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  15. david snell

    This not voter ease but the beginning of massive voter fraud.

    July 18, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  16. Gene Colburn

    Lets just make the whole voting process as easy as possible. You know something that doesn't require thought! or effort! Yeah that's the ticket. An extension of the leftist dream come true. A mouse click for more freebies and for those that hand em out. Pavlov would be so proud.

    July 18, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  17. SJ

    What? You have to enter a driver's license or state ID card number? The leftist thug Holder and his gang at the DOJ aren't going to like that – now if it was an illegal gun walking scheme that gets border patrol agents killed app...

    July 18, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. matt

    Yeah, Right, Facebook wont be recording any of that information, they are already on record to record EVERYTHING you do via Facebook. What a mess this will turn into. I gave up my Facebook account nearly a year ago because they have an atrocious record for privacy and security. Big Mistake WA Sec of State. Big Mistake. You just gave back roomed partisans a chance to commit even greater voter fraud.........

    July 18, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  19. Rick Harner

    A lot of my friends have their dogs on Facebook. I wonder how they'll be voting in November.

    July 18, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  20. Slam1263

    Now it'll be even easier for crinmals to game our already gamed system.

    Watfington State is shooting down the tube.

    July 18, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  21. suibne

    they should be disqualified from the presidential vote immediately.
    suibne

    July 18, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  22. Norwegianbear

    I favor returning to voting in person after having presented both a voter registration card and personal identification. Washington, especially King County is of course on the forefront of voter fraud, so the dumping of in person voting and now facebook registration is no surprise. I wonder how many times I voted for Obama?

    July 18, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. Elron Aven

    What could possibly go wrong?

    July 18, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  24. rightside

    Greta idea. I'm in the process of looking in the telephone book right now for an address I can use to register in the State of Washington and I live in NH. Part of the liberal vote early and often concept. I dig it.

    July 18, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  25. Katlyn

    You're kidding, right? This is ridiculous but soming from uber liberal WA not surprising. How can verification be done?

    July 18, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
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