Comms + policy. Author of #digitaldiplomacy (2015), Twitter for Diplomats (2013). My views here.
The US presidential election is tomorrow and app and social media platforms are all out to remind their users in the United States to vote and help them locate their polling station. And so far, according to TargetSmart, more than 42 million voters have casted their ballot early, including record numbers in the battleground states of Nevada, Florida, and North Carolina.
If you’re searching anything on Google this morning, the Google Doodle in the US today is dedicated to reminding voters to vote. When you click on the Doodle, you can enter your address to locate your polling place.
Googling “how to vote” will take you to localized results that include the times the polls are open and any requirements such as an ID. You can also enter your address to locate your polling place.
Facebook’s elections tool will show you what’s on your ballot and where various candidates stand on key issues. The information, according to the Associated Press, comes from the nonpartisan group Center for Technology and Civic Life, which also generates some of the data for Google searches such as “what’s on my ballot.”
“Facebook’s vote planner is tailor-made for you. You can preview the races and issues you’ll see on your ballot, learn more about the candidates and their positions, then email yourself your choices for later reference,” a Facebook blog post reads. “How you vote is a personal matter, and we’ve taken steps to make sure that you have utmost control over your plan.”
On Twitter, if you click on “Find Your Polling Place,” a DM message from Twitter Government (@ gov) asks users located in the US to input their address to find where to cast their vote.
Twitter users “will have access to a variety of additional, personalized voting information, including polling location, candidate and proposition information, and additional electoral resources about absentee voting and state election rules,” a Twitter blog post reads.
Uber also has joined the many technology companies working to get voters to the polls on Election Day and it has partnered with Google to allow users to look up the location of their polling place inside the application and request a ride there.
“Given the important decision people around the country will make on November 8th, we wanted to make getting to and from your polling place easier than ever,” said Niki Christoff, the company’s head of federal affairs, in a blog post. “Teaming up with Google, Uber is excited to help make that trip as convenient and stress free as possible.”
Snapchat users in the US will see overlays they can add to their snaps reminding people to go vote. In addition they will be able to see “live stories” on the app — showing people at the polls, election results, acceptance and concession speeches and election night celebrations.
Even Coursera, the education platform that offers massive open online courses (MOOCs), is emailing all its users in the US to remind them to go vote.
And finally on Medium, users can go beyond social media soundbites and explore issues and positions through a curated list of posts ranging from immigration to education, from national security to gender… The collection has a ton of interesting posts like Simon Rogers of Google News Lab; Colin Powell on Carnegie Corporation; Rachel Hoff in Next Right; Becca Thimmesch in Healthcare in America; James Kwak, and many more.
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