Washington States Brings Voter Registration to Facebook

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Registering to vote just got easier in Washington state.

Earlier this week the secretary of state’s office announced it will provide an application on its Facebook page that will allow residents the opportunity to register to vote. Facebook users can also “like” the application and share it with their friends.

Washington state is one of just over a dozen states that offer online voter registration. But they’re the only state that has extended its registration to Facebook.

According to Huffington Post, Shane Hamlin, co-director of elections, said it’s a means to get more people to register.

“In this age of social media and more people going online for services, this is a natural way to introduce people to online registration and leverage the power of friends on Facebook to get more people registered,” he said.

Hamlin said Washington state is the first to offer voter registration on Facebook.

Facebook’s excited, too. They have been working on the project since last fall, collaborating with officials in Washington and with Microsoft Corp.

“We are excited that citizens in Washington state will be able to register to vote and review useful voting information on Facebook,” said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes.

The application will also give voters access to the state’s “My Voice” site where they can read about candidates and ballot measures.

The application is expected to launch as early as next week. Once it’s live, Facebook users will need to provide a driver’s license or state ID card number. However, Hamlin said it’s not Facebook that’s collecting the data, but the state of Washington.



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