Washington State has become the first state in the nation to allow citizens to register to vote via Facebook.
While online registration has been available since 2008 in Washington State, this is the first time residents will be able to do so via a social media website.
MSNBC reported that people will be able to register to vote through a software application interface jointly developed by Facebook and Microsoft Corporation. The registration will come at no cost to the state. Facebook users wishing to register online will be able to do so on the official Facebook page of the secretary of state.
According to CNN, users will still need to enter information from a driver's license or state ID card number to verify their identities through a state database. Once a user "likes" the app on Facebook, he or she can recommend it to friends.
Shane Hamlin, the state's co-director of elections, told the Associated Press that he is excited to see how social media affects voting. "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."
Hamlin added that he can assure voters the process is safe at that their data will not be stored, mined or shared by Facebook. "Once you start the process, you're no longer entering data on Facebook. Facebook is not collecting any of the data."
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