Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Election Day Tools

If you are in the United States and not dead, it's kind of hard to miss all the chaos leading up to election day next week. Surprisingly, not a lot of people seem to know where their voting place is or even if they are registered to vote.

Conveniently, Google has made a gadget available for you to drop onto your site to help give people the kind of self-service they need. If you are a web builder (I assume that some of you reading this are), then you can customize the Google Election Center App and grab the code to drop it on your own site to help random voters (even if you are using a limited CMS, the code should still do the trick). As long as users enter a valid address (the example address above is a business address, so it won't return any results), they will see the polling place in Google Maps and directions to get there from the submitted address. In addition, a list of election candidates is provided (in random order).

If the app looks familiar, it's also living on the home page of the Voting Information Project, and the data it uses comes from that very organization.

As a little extra motivation to exercise a right guaranteed to you in the United States Constitution, for which so many have fought and/or died to retain and extend to all citizens, which makes you kind of an ungrateful jerk if you don't vote, Foursquare is offering badges for people who check in to polling places. Read up in this post on Mashable: This Year, Civic Participation Gets You an "I Voted" Foursquare Badge. On November 2 you can wander over to Foursquare's tracking page to see how people across the country are doing (provided they check in).

If you are still wondering who gets your vote and you are far too lazy to do your own research and track down your own unbiased resources, then a Mashable guest writer has provided 17 Web Resources to Help You Decide on Election Day. I suggest you don't wait until election day to decide.

Foursquare Election Day 2010 Badge

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