Washington State Residents Can Register to Vote on Facebook
July 18, 2012 4:18 PM
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The registration application was developed by the state of Washington, Facebook and Microsoft
The state of Washington will be the first to offer a voter registration option on Facebook as soon as next week.
Washington state citizens will soon have the option to register to vote on Facebook via an application on the Secretary of State's Facebook page. The application was developed by the state of Washington, Facebook and Microsoft.
"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.
Here's how it works: Washington residents go to the secretary of state's Facebook page and click on the registration application. They will agree to let Facebook access their information, and their name and date of birth will be added automatically to their registration form. Then, residents will have to provide a driver's license or state ID number.
In addition to registering to vote, Washington state citizens can obtain information on candidates to help them make voting-related decisions.
"We are excited that citizens in Washington state will be able to register to vote and review useful voting information on Facebook," said Andrew Noyes, Facebook spokesman.
For those worried about
Facebook accessing private information
for the voter registration form, it's been noted that Facebook doesn't have access to the state's database. The only information Facebook uses is your name and date of birth.
The Washington state voter registration form on Facebook is expected to launch next week.
The Orange County Register
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7/19/2012 9:13:44 PM
Investigation by California attorney general
On September 25, 2009, in response to Governor Schwarzenegger's request to investigate the incidents, the California Attorney General's office opened an investigation "into the controversy surrounding videos that purportedly show members of community organizing group ACORN giving advice on how to open a brothel".
On April 1, 2010, Attorney General Jerry Brown announced the office's findings, based on its review of new unedited videotapes recorded in the California offices of ACORN, as well as other evidence. The AG had granted O'Keefe and Giles immunity from prosecution in exchange for the raw videotapes. The report noted that the terms of the exchange did not exempt O'Keefe or Giles from being sued separately by the ACORN members filmed in the videos. Citing the 1967 Invasion of Privacy Act, Attorney General Office's report stated that "an application of these principles to the facts presented here strongly suggests that O'Keefe and Giles violated state privacy laws and provides fair warning to them and others that this type of activity can be prosecuted in California."
The Attorney General Office criticized O'Keefe for not acting as a journalist trying to objectively report a story from the facts, noting instead that O'Keefe stated he "was out to make a point and to damage ACORN". The report said, "The video releases were heavily edited to feature only the worst or most inappropriate statements of the various ACORN employees and to omit some of the most salient statements by O'Keefe and Giles. Each of the ACORN employees recorded in California was a low level employee whose job was to help the needy individuals who walked in the door seeking assistance. Giles and O'Keefe lied to engender compassion, but then edited their statements from the released videos."
For instance, one much-publicized recording had shown O'Keefe and Giles at the San Diego office. They show a worker purportedly seeking information from a contact in Mexico to help them smuggle underage girls from Mexico into the United States to work as prostitutes. The video did not show that the worker's 'contact' in Mexico was a police official. The employee collected as much specific information from Giles and O'Keefe as possible during their visit. The worker then contacted Mexican police to warn them of the plot. The AG Office's report stated, "ACORN was not the criminal enterprise described by O'Keefe in his 'Chaos for Glory' statement – it did not receive billions in federal funds and did not control elections. ACORN is, however, disorganized and its operations were far from transparent, leaving it vulnerable to allegations of illegal activity and misuse of funds." The report also noted that despite O'Keefe's appearing in the released videos in "stereotypical 1970s pimp garb", in his actual taped sessions with ACORN workers, he was dressed in a shirt and tie, presented himself as a law student, and said he planned to use the prostitution proceeds to run for Congress, and never claimed he was a pimp.
The report of the Attorney General Office concluded, "Even if O'Keefe and Giles had truly intended to break the law, there is no evidence that any of the ACORN employees had the intent to aid and abet such criminal conduct or agreed to join in that illegal conduct." While faulting a few of the recorded ACORN members for "terrible judgment and highly inappropriate behavior", The investigation report also concluded that "ACORN could determine that the conduct of its employees in California was inappropriate, but that is an employment matter, which does not rise to the level of a law enforcement or governmental concern", and determined that the employees did not commit prosecutable crimes in California. Regarding this contrast between the publicity related to the videos and what actually transpired, Attorney General Brown stated, "The evidence illustrates that things are not always as partisan zealots portray them through highly selective editing of reality. Sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor."
 Investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office
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