Google’s new tool shows early voting and drop box locations

Brittany A. Roston - Oct 16, 2020, 7:25pm CDT
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Google’s new tool shows early voting and drop box locations

If you’re one of the many people who plan to vote early this year to avoid the crowds later on, Google is here to help. The company recently updated its search engine to feature a new tool enabling users to search ballot drop boxes and early voting locations in their region. The tool joins Google Search’s existing voter information panels.

Google is one of the many tech companies that have released voter information centers where anyone in the US can learn how to register and vote in their state. Many places are now allowing residents to cast early votes for various reasons, the most common being that many people are afraid to stand in the large crowds that gather on voting day.

The new ‘Where to vote’ tool appears on mobile and desktop when you search for that exact phrase: “Where to vote?” The user can select one of the addresses they have saved on their Google Account, such as their home address, or they can type in an address if they’re looking for the location for someone else.

The tool returns multiple tabs depending on your location, including places to vote early and places to vote on election day. Assuming your region also offers it, you’ll see drop boxes for dropping off your vote early. The same results are also presented to users who search for voting and drop box locations in Maps.

According to Google, it has seen an unprecedented number of US-based searches for the query “how to vote.” This latest offering builds upon its information center, which directs users to the information from their state about registering and other voting requirements. As for the location search tool, Google says it comes from the Voting Information Project and Democracy Works.


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