Washington State is setting up a Facebook voter registration process. Basically this is just an access point provided through the popular Facebook system, leading into the actual Washington State online voter registration system. If you are a fan of online registration, then Facebook is indeed a great way to drive a lot more people, especially young people, to register.
Washington requires new registrants to submit (by mail) copy of driver’s license or ID in order to register, so the Facebook registration portal is not as nuts as it sounds. Of course, Facebook does not require some of the information you’ll have to provide to Facebook in order to auto-enter your voter registration info into the Washington State official online voter registration page.
For example, you will need to make sure Facebook has your correct current physical address and date of birth. The Washington Facebook voter registration setup doesn’t open up your driver’s license or social security number to Facebook, but it does require users to provide a little more detailed personal information to Facebook than they might otherwise.
The news article linked below indicates this was a joint project of the Wash. Sec. State office and Microsoft. I can’t really see why Microsoft had to get involved. Can you?
I just went to the Washington Secretary of State’s Facebook page to check it out, but could not find any link to the voter registration application, but did find a response to a comment that there are useability problems with certain browsers. Looks like there’s more work to do.
Facebook users in Washington state will have something else to brag about to their online friends: that they registered to vote on Facebook.
The secretary of state’s office said Tuesday it will have an application on its Facebook page that allows residents to register to vote and then “like” the application and recommend it to their friends. It’s expected to launch as early as next week….
Once it’s live, Facebook users can click on the application within the secretary of state’s Facebook page. They’ll need to agree to let Facebook access their information, which will be used to prefill their name and date of birth in the voter registration form. Users will still need to provide a driver’s license or state ID card number to continue.
… “You are giving your information to us, not Facebook,” he said.
Secretary of state’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateElections
Secretary of state’s “My Vote” page: https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/Pages/myvote1.aspx