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. Anonymous

    you are kidding me, right?

    July 19, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  2. the Rifleman

    This has FRAUD written all over it!

    July 19, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  3. lynn01

    OMG! For a citizen to want to be eligible to vote, he can not be burdened by going to the proper venue to accomplish that. Hey, just go to facebook. Unbelievable America.. Your vote is not worth a little of effort to properly register and show a photo ID? I have to show my ID whenever I want to apply for a job or register to cast my vote in Georgia.

    July 19, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  4. Joe Dan Gorman

    More great liberal ideas--What could go wrong? seriously- this is insane

    July 19, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  5. Laffinatcha

    "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 about the old, the infirmed, or the poor? I thought they cannot afford a State issued ID. I guess next, we'll have to buy them a computer so they can Facebook and are not disenfranchised...

    July 19, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  6. kitty hogan

    Total insanity. Anyone can vote using this system. Is there no one in government interested in protecting our most precious part of American citizenship?

    July 19, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  7. Investment Advisor

    Yeah, the land of Patty Murray. What a prize she is for us. Her and Harry Reid are one exciting duo in their committee! Christmas lights are brighter than her.....Just ask the parents of the Shoreline school district that worked with her before she put on her tennis shoes and went to
    the "other" Washington. It will be a great day when she is gone .

    July 19, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  8. forrest

    Now we have digitized vote fraud. Democrats have got to love this.

    July 19, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  9. BKB

    So now all knowing Facebook will know who you voted for? Yeah, no thanks.

    Facebook free is the way to be.

    July 19, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  10. Alejandro

    Wow... image the voter fraud that's going to ensue in states where anyone can vote without ID, like Commifornia.

    July 19, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  11. lies from obama (and mabye his father)

    Interesting. I'm glad you have to prove you are who you are, otherwise it would be very easy to cheat, like in normal polls...

    July 19, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  12. John Careccia

    Online registration requires constant vigilance to make sure there are no phoney ones. The digital age brings its own challenges to insure we remain free to choose our elected officials freely and openly. I don't want people rising from the dead to vote.

    July 19, 2012 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  13. Snotty Kid

    So a corporation makes an app for voter registration? What if the app was designed by a foreign programmer and they put in a backdoor. So some guy in China can make fake voters in Washington State and try to rig the elections.

    July 19, 2012 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  14. ted

    I hate farcebook. It's a hornet's nest.

    July 19, 2012 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  15. Maluka

    The Washington State county called "King County" (the greater Seattle area) is well known for it's voter fraud actions. Now the crooks in the statehouse have expanded the voter fraud program. You never have to prove or identify yourself as an American citizen or a resident of the state. This is a conspiracy by the political scum of Washington, their governor, both senators and about half of the rest of the politicians. Democracy is doomed by these liberals.

    July 19, 2012 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  16. AWDouglas

    This takes all!!!! How do you know positivly that real U>S> citizens are appling to vote... is this another ploy of OBUMMER to get relected.... How many aliens are paid to regester tthis year. and how many drug addicts will be bussed to vote???? This is Not the way to get America back on the right track.... Get Down to the basics and impeach the so-called president for LIES ,LIES and more lies anyone can count......... America stand up and be counted for whats right..... Our freedom is being taken away little at a time...... I for one part Native American Indian and Proud o f it..... Obummmer is not a man of honor,,, Sit and think if YOU would want to have him in your house with your family.... I sure DON'T.... He is Not even American.... Why can't many of you see the truth of what is happening here... He is going to draw us into another war so he can declare marshall law to stay where he is and show, Trator to OUR COUNTRY the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA>>>>......I don't want him or his congress in office another term for the trators they are to the USA...

    July 19, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  17. mac

    Time to register 100's of fake names via FAKEbook.

    July 19, 2012 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  18. CJ

    So much for the secret ballot!!! sigh

    July 19, 2012 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  19. Chicken Sock Puppet

    Requires ID to register to vote? Obviously the State of Washington and Microsoft are run by a bunch of racists...

    July 19, 2012 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  20. Scott Tucker

    On Rock the Vote site was able to register both my dogs in under ten minutes. This should be just as easy. More obabma voters for November.

    July 19, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  21. Joseph

    Interesting. I guess Washington State Democrats are afraid they won't be able to steal the next elections like they have in the past and need a new method.

    July 19, 2012 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  22. NYCS

    Yeah, that will help stop voter fraud.

    July 19, 2012 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  23. Mayor Davis

    I don't care so long as they fork over their picture ID at the voting station

    July 19, 2012 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  24. Shaen

    So, does this mean all the people that have two profiles, and the ones that are profiles of pets can register too? How about the people who have died and their profiles are still up? Oh wait.. they already vote. We are crazy to bring this sort of important official business into social websites. It's not only silly, it's dangerous.

    July 19, 2012 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  25. pjn0524

    Yet another craptastic idea from the heavily liberal Puget Sound area. How are these registrations going to be verified? What happens if there are duplicates in the system? This really, really, REALLY reeks ...

    July 19, 2012 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
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