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Google Is Making It Easy to Find Where and When You Can Vote

Search for terms like “early voting locations” or “ballot drop boxes near me” for more information.

By Stephanie Mlot

Whether you’re voting in person or by mail this year, Google wants to make it easier to find information about how and where to cast your ballot.

The firm on Friday launched election-related features that, with a little help from the Voting Information Project, show nearby polling places. Simply type in queries like “early voting locations” and “ballot drop boxes near me.” Or, starting soon, ask Google Assistant for details using any of your smart devices (phone, speaker, display).

US users can enter a complete street address where you’re registered to find local voting location and hours—some of which may not be available until closer to Election Day. Not keen to share your whereabouts directly with Google? The search giant also highlights links to vote.org and state Board of Elections sites.

Once you’ve pinpointed and verified a venue, click through to Google Maps for quick information about how far it is, how to get there, and voting hours. Alternatively, you can search directly in Maps for access to the feature in Search.

“The official information in this feature comes from the Voting Information Project, a partnership between Democracy Works, a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization, and state election officials,” product manager Yunhan Xu wrote in the Google blog announcement. “Through the Voting Information Project, we plan to have more than 200,000 voting locations available across the country.

“For places where voting locations are not yet available, we’ll surface state and local election websites,” Xu continued. “As more locations become available, or if there are changes, we’ll continue to update the information provided across Google Search, Assistant, and Maps.”

Google also includes helpful little reminders, like not forgetting to bring your completed and sealed ballot with you.

Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.



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