There’s a lot of room for confusion around how to vote this election season, particularly in states where pending and recent court cases are making last minute changes to the process.
To help people interested in casting a ballot, Google unveiled a tool Thursday that will make finding out how to vote in your state as easy as typing in a search.
After noticing an increase in searches for ‘how to vote,” “register to vote” and “where to vote” the search engine launched a series of web tools to streamline and personalize results to certain voting-specific questions.
If a voter in North Carolina, for example, were to type “voter ID North Carolina” into the search bar, they would receive information about what types of identification voters are required to show at the polls in November. (Just an FYI, strict voter identification requirements won’t be in place until 2016 in the Tar Heel state).
The prompt even works for smartphone users with the Google app. If users simply say “Ok, Google. How do I vote?”, information on voter registration , identification requirements, and early voting pops up.
“With so much at stake on November 4th, including the balance of power in Congress, it is crucial that voters have access to all the information they needed to exercise their power to vote at the polls,” Anthea Watson Strong, the elections and civic engagement program manager at Google said in a blog post Thursday.
Google is also compiling politics-specific infographics that will show what searches are trending in the final month leading up to the election. In the coming weeks, Google will also be rolling out a tool that show voters where to vote by mapping out polling locations.