Voters Can Now Register Through Facebook In Washington State

    July 17, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

Voting is the most important right we can exercise as Americans. Regardless of your political leaning, it’s super important that you show up to the ballot boxes this November. Unfortunately, many people will skip on their most supreme responsibility for a number of reasons. One of the largest is definitely the way we have to register to vote. It’s a cumbersome process that really turns off a lot of youth who just want to get it done. Washington state has come up with a genius solution.

Starting later this week, Washington state residents will be able to register to vote through Facebook. It’s a simple idea that has a lot of potential. The youth vote is very important for both candidates and they want to reach as many as they can. Why not go to where they spend most of their day?

According to the National Journal, Microsoft designed an app that will pull the state’s online registration system into the user’s Facebook page. From there, it will pre-fill many of the boxes with that person’s information from Facebook. Such an app could be just the ticket many youth need to push them over to registering to vote.

Of course, getting them to register is just part of the problem. The other is actually getting to them show up at the polls in November. Washington state has a highly contested governor’s race that will be decided in November as well. The National Journal found that one of the candidates, Republican Rob McKenna, has spent more than $10,000 in Facebook advertising.

This is just more evidence that Facebook, or at least social media, is here to stay. It has become an integral part of the political process by allowing candidates and campaigns to speak directly to voters without having to spend the kind of money that television ads require.

Of course, we now have to wonder when people will be able to vote online or through Facebook. I’m sure a lot more people would actually get out to the polls if they weren’t required to drive out to some remote elementary school.

  • Al Welch

    Yet another easily breached way to cheat the system. Washington State already has dead dogs registered to vote, for instance.

    The Liberal never sees the law of unintended consequences.

  • http://www.cabinchaletdecor.com Rita Perdue

    So glad to see the start of something that could have been done a long time ago. With our technology advancements wondering why we don’t ‘vote’ online!

  • http://canlookup.com Rex Mundi

    Seriously? Facebook is a social networking website known to have little to no interest in keeping personal information private or safe from hackers. So some moron in government thinks it’s a good idea to let them become involved in the voting process?

  • http://www.2wolves.com Susan

    Voting is a serious responsibility – something that should not be taken lightly. To use a social media site like Facebook to sign up makes a mockery of the whole process. With many having more than one ID on facebook – this opens the door wide for fraud.
    What’s next? Actual voting via Facebook?

    • Greg

      Big concern here on two fronts – privacy and fraud. Facebook and their various partners have done a poor job, so far, of ensuring security of personal information – voting information is perhaps the “most private”. Secondly, it seems almost impossible to verify actual age and location information for voting when you can have multiple ID’s etc. Not sure this is the future we want…

    • Kat

      I am a Washington resident. What they didn’t tell you in this article is that Washington has already made the jump to voting by mail, so no one actually has to go to a voting booth unless he or she chooses that method, and more and more people are choosing to vote by mail because it’s easier, and it actually saves the state money. Along with that comes the fact that we can register to vote online at the State of Washington website. Registering to vote on Facebook is not that big of a leap from what we already have. As well, registering to vote online is a lot different than actually voting online. However, I expect that within the next 20 years or so, everyone will be voting online, not only because it will be easier, but also because it will cost less. The newest generation of voters do everything they can using the Internet, and as time goes on, it will be commonplace to do things on the Internet that those of us over 40 have never dreamed of. Yes, voting is a serious business, and that is why it is extremely important that everyone has a voice. Some of us use our voice in more old fashioned ways, but younger people should also be able to speak their minds and cast their votes, because they are the ones who will be making the difference in the coming years. Security will evolve along with applications, and voting fraud won’t be any different than it is now or has been in the past. There has always been voting fraud – it’s just a matter of method and keeping up with that method. Evolution of civilizations is a fact, borne out by thousands of years of history, and fighting evolution never works – it only slows it down. Whether we register to vote online or not isn’t going to change the fact that our society is evolving toward more and more technology; the only real question here is if and when and how we will rise to the challenge.

  • http://gardengrovefindhomes.com John

    pffff. This is not going to help with turnout. Unless of course you can vote on Facebook, which will NEVER happen.

  • http://No Robi