Google Maps urges users to vote with its new polling place finder
Google has been working throughout this election to make voting information more accessible, and today that continues with an integration in Google Maps that will help users find their polling place. When you launch Google Maps on web or mobile and prepare to type into the search box, a banner pops up at the top of the screen which reads, “Find your Polling Place.”
Clicking on this banner will redirect you to a customized Google Search query, built especially for Election Day, complete with its own hashtag.
The query, “Where do I vote in the 2016 United States election” is a bit wordy – after all, you can access this same information via Google Search today just by tying in “where to vote” or even just “vote,” for example. And Google has also appended a hashtag to this search query, “Everyonein2016.”
This is the query and hashtag that Google has been using across its properties in the days leading up to Election Day here in the U.S., including from yesterday’s Google Doodle, which took you to the same results page, as well as from the now ubiquitous pop-ups on a number of Google’s sites, which remind you that “Today is Election Day,” in case you’ve somehow forgotten.
The search company has been heavily involved in promoting voter resources this election year, and the Google Maps integration is just another example of that. So far this year, Google has offered a number of voter guides, ranging from those aimed at increasing registration to those that help you figure out voting requirements, as well as who’s on the ballot and the issues. It also rolled out a version of its voter information in Spanish.
And it’s even branded YouTube today with its own YouTube doodle, or “Yoodle.” When clicked, it takes to you a special video that reminds you to vote and, again, redirects you to the Google search query that helps you find the information you need, related to that.
While the company has traditionally offered similar voter assistance in years past, this time around, Google has been a little pushier with its urging U.S. users to vote, with Google.com homepage ads, a banner atop Gmail, pop-ups when you perform searches on Google, and now this polling place finder in Google Maps.
The end result of these efforts is, hopefully, an impact on voter turnout. As Google noted earliers, the company has seen it has seen a 233 percent increase in search traffic for the phrase “how to vote” compared with the 2012 elections.
Results from today’s elections will display in Google Search results as soon as the polls close, Google also announced yesterday.