Past winners

Shane Hamlin -- 2013 GT Top 25 Winner

Assistant Director of Elections, Washington

by / February 27, 2013
Shane Hamlin, assistant director of elections, Washington. Photo by Laura Mott. Photo by Laura Mott

Shane Hamlin is part of a team in Washington state working to make sure that voters can access as many services as possible online. Washington was the second state to provide online voter registration via its MyVote portal, and it broke new ground by becoming the first to let candidates file for election electronically. A mobile app also offers up-to-date election results from the Secretary of State’s office.

In August 2012, the state added a new way for eligible voters to register or make changes to their registration information through Facebook. In a partnership with Washington-based Microsoft, the social media giant approached state officials about creating an app that allows Facebook users direct access to MyVote. 

“We thought it would be a great way to leverage the power of social media to improve and grow the use of online registration,” Hamlin explained.

Facebook now acts as a direct portal to Washington’s system — MyVote users connect with the state’s servers, without sharing voting-related data with Facebook. 

And the state’s online registration efforts are paying off. According to Hamlin, every voter that registers online saves counties between 50 cents and $2, depending on the type of registration system they use. Since online registration debuted in 2008, more than 525,000 registrations and changes of address have been processed this way. The state has long since recovered the cost of building the $280,000 system, and is now just enjoying the savings.

Photo by Laura Mott

Return to the 2013 GT Top 25

Noelle Knell Editor

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.