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Register to vote on Facebook? Soon, says Washington


As early as next week, Washington residents will be able to register to vote on Facebook.

The idea started coming to life last fall: Create a web application for voter registration. Secretary of State Sam Reed worked with Facebook and Microsoft Corporation on the app.

Reed's Deputy Communications Director Brian Zylstra says the app will collect your basic information through Facebook, then the user will need to provide a drivers license number or state ID to validate the registration.

Organizations who traditionally register people to vote in person are just getting their feet wet with the idea. The Washington Bus, run out of Seattle, seeks to engage young people in politics. Engagement Coordinator Abigail Doerr says the Facebook app would be an opportunity to at least see more young people register.

“How we think about it is voting is a learned habit. So we start younger, and being able to register on Facebook is a really big deal, it starts that process. But how do we also engage a conversation around voting, and why we’re voting, and what we’re voting on. That’s what we all have to work on.”

The Washington Bus hits the ground most weekends to register people. Last weekend alone they registered a few hundred people in three different counties.

The Secretary of State’s office says people will be able to “like” the app and send it to friends.

Copyright 2012 Spokane Public Radio