Google Rolls Out Voter Registration Tool

By Jaikumar Vijayan  |  Posted 2016-07-18 Print this article Print
Google voter registration tool

A new Google tool can help users get detailed state-by-state information on how to register to vote for the November elections.

Google is offering help to individuals looking for information on registering to vote for the upcoming presidential elections.

The company has rolled out a new tool that allows voters to get data on how and where they can register for the process, by searching for it on Google.

By searching for "register to vote" or some similar term, users can get detailed information on general eligibility requirements, required identification documents, where in their local area they need to go to register and the deadlines for doing so.

The data, presented on top of the search results page, includes downloadable registration forms, the address of the state board of elections for those who want to mail their registration and alternate forms of identification for those who may not have a driver's license or state ID. For instance, for voters in Illinois, the tool notes that acceptable forms of ID include a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check showing the individual's name and address.

The tool even offers alternate addresses, such as the office of the county board of elections for those who want their registration processed faster. Users also can use the tool to check if they are registered to vote in the election.

The information is available for each state and provides users with step-by-step guidance on how to correctly register for voting in their particular state.

The tool is designed to ensure that more people have an opportunity to participate in the general election, Google product manager Jacob Schonberg wrote on the company's official blog.

"With states' varied deadlines and methods, the voter registration process can be tricky," Schonberg said. The new tool simplifies "the voter registration process to make it easier for you to have your voice heard."

Starting Monday, users searching for information on either the Republican National Convention or the Democratic National Convention using their Google app will get a quick summary of each event, the respective presidential nominees and the lineup of speakers for the day. Google will also provide a link to YouTube video live streaming each event and a listing of what Schonberg described as "relevant social media posts" to help individuals stay up-to-date on both presidential candidates and their parties.

Google has offered similar help in previous elections. Four years ago, for instance, Google released a Voter Information Tool Website that provided voters with a wide range of information on each candidate. It lets users enter a zip code and get information on their polling location, voting requirements, early voting places and other data. Google designed the tool so it could be embedded into any Website.


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