Getting ready to cast your vote in November? Google has got you covered. The Internet search giant is making it easier for voters to find out what’s on the ballot and where their polling place is. Starting Thursday, a search in English or Spanish for “who’s on my ballot” will return detailed information about the candidates from president to county commissioner and on ballot measures in your state. Search for “where to vote” and Google will display a polling place location finder and inform you what identification you must bring along.
“We are committed to giving people timely and comprehensive information about the voting process so they can better participate in the election and have their voices heard in November,” said Jacob Schonberg, a product manager on Google’s politics and elections team. Google is responding to popular demand. Search interest for “who is on my ballot” is up 137% compared to this point in 2012, while “where is my polling place” is up 379% and “polling place” is up 216%.
This is just the latest example of popular online hangouts such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Google-owned YouTube helping get out the vote.
USA TODAY reported last month that Facebook would show Facebook users in the U.S. who are 18 and up a reminder to register to vote at the top of their News Feed over the course of four days.
The voter registration drive, Facebook’s first to roll out nationwide, tapped the power of social media to influence millions of people and their friends. Nine states credited that Facebook reminder for dramatically boosting voter registrations. Throughout the summer, Google has also been guiding voters to information on how to register and how to vote in English and Spanish, even using pop-up ads on its home page.