Am I the only one slightly worried by the latest innovation in online voter registration being pushed in Washington state? (h/t reader Steve G.)
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.
“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,” said Shane Hamlin, co-director of elections.
Washington state has had online registration since 2008, and since then, there have been 475,000 registrations or changes of address processed through the system. Washington is one of more than a dozen states that offer online registration.
Hamlin said Washington state is the first to offer voter registration via Facebook.
Recipe for voter fraud, anyone?
Flashback 2010: Facebook fraud a ‘major issue’
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Users of social media who don’t restrict the information they share online have a higher risk of identity fraud, a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research finds.
The incidence of identity fraud in 2011 rose to about 5 percent of the adult United States population, up from roughly 4 percent the year before, the report found. But among Facebook users with public profiles, the rate was 7.5 percent, while users who accept “friend” requests from strangers had an even higher rate, of nearly 9 percent.
The study defined a “public” profile as one that allows strangers to see personal information, including profiles open to “friends of friends.” Roughly a quarter of Facebook users have public profiles, the study found.
Fred Wolens, a spokesman for Facebook, dismissed the survey’s findings, saying it doesn’t reveal any higher risk of fraud among Facebook users because the percentages reported were within the survey’s stated margin of error. “This survey doesn’t prove anything,” he said.
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