With less than a month until Election Day in the U.S., Google says that searches for “how to vote” are at an all-time high. This may mean that those who are eligible to vote still need help in figuring out how to vote or that there are more people who are now actually interested in voting, given the current situation. Either way, Google is set to help out those asking questions like this by bringing election-related features to Search and Maps.
When your queries are “early voting locations” or “ballot drop boxes near me”, you’ll be able to get features to show the places that are nearest you, both on Search and Maps. You will find details on both polling stations where you can vote early or places where you can send your mail-in ballot, as well as places where you can vote on Election Day itself. The search results will also give you reminders like what you need to bring or how you should bring your ballots (completed and sealed of course).
They are also bringing election-related features to Google Assistant. Soon, you will be able to ask it questions like “Hey Google, where do I vote?” and it should be able to give you the answers you need. This will be enabled on smart speakers, Smart Displays, or any Google Assistant-powered devices. The results for Search, Maps, and Google Assistant should also give you information like what time are the voting hours, how far it is from your place, and how long it will take you to get there.
The information that Google will be providing is from the Voting Information Project, a partnership between non-partisan civic organization Democracy Works and state election officials. They are aiming to have more than 200,000 voting locations across the country included in the search results. For those that don’t have voting locations yet, Google will be using state and local election websites.
If you are of voting age, we hope you will do your civic duty this coming election. To avoid the crowds (we’re still in a pandemic after all) and rushing, make use of the information from Google so you can cast your vote as early as you can.