Google Points Voters To The Info They Need

    October 24, 2008
    Chris Crum

Google has noticed a lack of organization on the web when it comes to information on voting. That includes registration info and simply where to go to vote. In an effort to combat this problem, they’ve put together a couple tools to help potential voters find such information.

First off is a Google Gadget that users can insert on their iGoogle home page, complete with customizable settings:

Voting Google Gadget Customization

Obviously not everyone uses iGoogle and Google Gadgets though, so they have also created a site based on Google Maps, which essentially provides the same information:

Voting on Google Maps

When you enter your home address, the tool will point you to your voting location, though it does note, "Please verify this voting location with your local election officials to ensure that it is correct." They provide other useful information as well. When I enter my Kentucky address, I get a Kentucky voter hotline number and the following links:

    * Are you registered to vote?

    * How to register in Kentucky

    * Kentucky election website

On the Official Google Blog, it says:

To encourage political participation, we’ve opened up this data to third-party sites and developers through an API developed by Dan Berlin, one of our open-source engineers. We’re excited to share this data, and hope that others will find it useful in encouraging citizens to vote.

Organizing information is our mission. We do that every day with web content, and we want to do the same thing with information to inform and empower voters and to help them get to the polls this election season.

If Google’s offering leads to one more vote, it will have done its job. Hopefully it will lead to many more than that, providing a simple way for anyone to obtain the info they need to take advantage of their right to help choose the next leader of this country.