Voters Can Now Register Through Facebook In Washington StateBy: Zach Walton - July 17, 2012
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.