Published on November 1st, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan2
Get Ready to Vote (Google Can Help You)
November 1st, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
Google’s always looking for ways to improve our world, it seems. I recently voted using an absentee ballot since I live overseas, and I sure was happy I did — there was a lot of stuff on my ballot that I was clueless about, but was luckily able to look up online. Going into a voting booth, you won’t have that convenience. But Google’s got your back.
“Even though it is 2012, important voting information is disorganized and hard to find on the Internet,” Google notes.
“To help voters research candidates and successfully cast their ballot on Election Day, we’ve launched our new Voter Information Tool.”
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t have complete information either — I just checked the “ballot summary” for my district and it was missing a lot.
But Google does provide you with the most important information, including who to contact to get more information. Towards the bottom of the voting tool page, you’ll find contact information for your local supervisor of elections (just above the black bar that notes “For the most complete and up to date information, consult your local election official.”).
I’d recommend that you contact that person to get a preview of your ballot. Seeing what’s on the ballot, you can search each particular item (using Google, of course) to find out more information and know who or what to vote for (ballot language and short summaries of items on the ballot are certainly not adequate enough to make a good, informed decision when voting).
You can also check out sample ballots from organizations or groups you trust who provide such a service (e.g. the League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, your local Democratic or Green Party, etc.) — though, I also found those to be quite incomplete, so really do get a copy of your actual ballot from your local supervisor of elections.
Of course, other than the above, you can also find details on where you can vote, if you can vote early, and all kinds of other fun tools and interesting information. Go ahead and visit Google’s Voter Information Tool for more.
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