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Register to vote through Facebook? Washington reveals new app.

As soon as next week, Facebook users in Washington state may register to vote through an app developed by Microsoft. The initiative could mobilize young voters.

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Facebook has been developing the Washington state registration voter app since last fall, sources say.

Associated Press

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In an effort to convince more residents to complete their voter registration online, Washington state has partnered with Facebook to develop a voting registration app for the social network.

The upcoming app – designed by Microsoft – is the first of its kind. Expected to launch as soon as next week, it will “put a screen from the official state website into a user’s Facebook page, and…automatically add some of the information already in a Facebook profile, including name and date of birth,” according to Mashable. Users will still need to enter personal information, such as a driver’s license or state ID card number, to verify their identities. 

Ideally, this partnership would make it easier for residents to register, especially considering Facebook’s popularity, Washington’s co-director of elections Shane Hamlin told the Associated Press.

“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,” he said.

Hamlin said Facebook won’t collect voters’ personal information, but that users will have to give the site permission to use their full names and birth dates. 

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