Washington voter registration?
There’s an app for that

Washington voter registration? <br>There's an app for that

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed is touting his MyVote Washington voters Facebook application. Photo by Lizzie Chen/News21.

Becoming a registered voter in Washington state is now a social experience.

The state’s MyVote Facebook application fits the lifestyle of many voters, Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed said Saturday, at the National Association of Secretaries of State summer conference in Puerto Rico.

“Our state, like so many, has been financially hurting,” Reed said. He added that this app was a low cost way to improve voter registration.

Washington residents can now log in to their Facebook account, go to the MyVote app, and answer a few questions.

If individuals already are registered, they can update their voter registration information. If not, the system invites them to register.

The app then lets voters review candidates for upcoming elections and displays contact information for elected officials.

The MyVote app adds to Washington’s reputation for changing the voting experience. In 2008 Washington became the first state to hold a top-two primary, rather than using the familiar party nomination system. It also joined Oregon that year as one of only two states to vote by mail only.

Reed wanted to release the new technology this winter, but acknowledged that it wasn’t secure enough. After continuing to work on the app, which the state designed in collaboration with Microsoft and Facebook, it was launched earlier this summer.

Users get access to the app through Facebook, but all information entered is transferred directly to Washington’s database.

“In business they say, ‘location, location, location.’ Well how many people are on Facebook?” Reed asked.

By Joe Henke, News21