Washington state to become first to offer voter registration on Facebook
July 18th, 2012
06:46 PM ET
8 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. Tim

    Geee...How could anybody think that fraud might rear its ugly head. All FBers are 100% honest...right?

    July 18, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. beaker55

    Why does this not surprise me about Washington State?? Next, we'll be voting in the COSTCO food sampling line. Utter stupidity from the Left Coast. Must be a Gov. Gregoire idea!

    July 18, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  3. JM in San Diego CA

    Sounds like a hoax to me. I control three different Facebook entities and I can create more at will. Everybody can.

    July 18, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. USMC5053

    Facebook can't keep children from lying about their age and signing on as adults. Facebook can't keep pedophies from signing on under false names and ages and contacting these kids. So how is Facebook going to assure a legal right to vote?

    July 18, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. fredvn2

    Based on what BHO said, I guess Mark Zuckerberg didn't build or create Facebook.......must have been Uncle Sam........just sayin.

    July 18, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. Lord Ligonier

    Great, what this country really needs is more brain-dead participation by those too lazy to register whose voting motto is "gibs me dat".

    July 18, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  7. Steven Davis

    I say Washington State should be kicked out of the Union... Too much... They are asking for it so let's give it to them. Bye Bye...

    July 18, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  8. Steve

    I got to vote ten times a day for the next Food Network Star using Facebook. I think I should be able to use Facebook and vote a couple of hundred times a day for President. Doesn't that sound ok with you?

    July 18, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  9. jnsesq

    A Democrat wet dream. 236 years of genius, enlightenment, inspiration, liberty made trivial bit by bit, byte by byte. How the Founders would weep at our squandering their magnifdicent legacy. We are truly now undeserving.

    July 18, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  10. DEEJ

    Hamlin reassured voters that "Washington state is collecting the voter information, not Facebook". LMAO, does he really believe Facebook won't have access to this information.

    July 18, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  11. HAReynolds

    Who exactly ARE these children running Washington State?
    Between uncontrolled voter lists and only HALF the population with skin in the game (i.e. paying income tax), we are surely on the road to perdition. Or perhaps Hayek said it better: The Road To Serfdom.

    July 18, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  12. Jimmie Edwards

    How do you spell FRAUD?

    July 18, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  13. mike

    Yeah, nothing could possibly go wrong with this. It's great to have as many private politically motivated companies involved with the voting process as possible....just as long as they don't require photo IDs 😉

    Aren't Zuckerberg and Obama best buds? I'm sure there would be no objections if Exxon Mobile gets involved in the voter registration process by linking gas cards to registering voters, right?

    July 18, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. Vote Loud


    I need to register my dog and pet Armadillo....

    How do the eight of us sign up?

    July 18, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  15. champie

    Why is this necessary?

    July 18, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  16. Namd d.dubb

    Wow ...no voter fraud possible

    July 18, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't like this. There is nothing that makes this sound good to me. It isn't government sanctioned and therefore, it shouldn't do this.

    July 18, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  18. bill

    wow how convenien haha

    July 18, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  19. Eeeek

    Can we say Voter fraud?

    July 18, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  20. Victor

    Not a word about potential voter fraud? Is it a real news story? Wow! It really sounds more like a promo piece.

    July 19, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  21. kelly kafir

    ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? Like we don't have enough problems with fraud already!!! So I guess Acorn will be registering Mickey Mouse and Adolph Hitler again this year!! I can imagine how big our state will magically grow to with this garbage!! We have about 3 million people here but I'm sure with this crap we will have a population bigger than Texas!!

    July 19, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  22. Cecilia C. Krnjeu

    This is going to be a disaster! How can you stop to register an individual with multiple account on fb.?

    July 19, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  23. Jeff

    Continuing the state's tradition of election fraud

    July 19, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  24. Ylem

    Another way to steal votes. I don't trust that the Democrats won't tamper with the website.

    July 19, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  25. Patrick Kane

    No voter fraud here I'm sure!

    July 19, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
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