Google Voter Information tool: personalized ballot info

If you're not sure where to vote or even who to vote for on November 6, Google's new Voter Information Tool might help.

The new site, which is part of Google's Politics & Elections hub, lets you type in your address to find details on your polling place and local ballot. It could save some time compared to hunting through the website of your local registrar. Just keep in mind, though, that the information may not be totally complete.

As Google's blog post notes, the Voter Information Tool can show the hours and address of your polling place, along with early-voting locations. But when I tried entering my home address, the site said it couldn't find where to vote. I then tried entering the address where I grew up, which worked, but there were no hours listed for the nearest polling place.

Ballot summaries provide links to Google searches, Google News searches, and social media profiles for candidates. But again, the details may not be complete in your area.

My ballot summary only listed the presidential, U.S. Senate, and several state Supreme Court races. It missed the races for Congress, state legislature, and county elections, and didn't list any voter propositions.

The good news is that Google's Voter Information Tool can be embedded on other websites, and it's open source, so developers can modify it. That may not be much help at this late stage in the 2012 election cycle, but hopefully some towns or states will use the tool in future elections to build powerful voter-information tools for their own websites and voters.

Subscribe to the Tablet Tips & Trends Newsletter

Comments