election Day! Still not sure where the nearest polling place or ballot drop box is? Google wants to help.
This morning, the company rolled out various features across Google Assistants, Google Maps, and Google Search, all mean that when a user is looking for information at polling places, it kicks.
For example, on Google search, a search for “I have a ballot drop box” will now only bring up a dedicated tool for that search – punch in the address where you’re registered to vote, and it will help you find a drop. Box or place according to voting will help. The same tool will pop up when you search for things like “How to find a polling place” or “Where to vote”, so it has some flexibility.
Or if you’ve got an assistant-powered device nearby (such as a Nest Mini, Nest Hub, or an Android phone), you can say “Hey Google, where do I vote?” And the assistant should be able to find out based on your current location (with the assistant, as it will notice in its response, that your current location is where you are registered to vote.)
Integration of Maps is a bit more limited, but it does the job. Searching for “where do I vote” in the Google Maps mobile app gives a hint that will toss you into the web-based search search flow above. Once you find your location, tapping on the “direction” button will return you to the Maps app.
Google says it is pulling its location information from the voting information project as part of a partnership with Democracy Works. The company says that they will add more polling places by election day, when all are expected to be over 200,000 in the say-and-do arrangement.
Don’t want to get your polling place details from Google, or just double check things? There are sites like Vote Dot ORG (which, if you’re curious, Siri’s recommended “Where do I vote?” Question), which provides information on checking your voter registration status, Who becomes a poll worker, etc.