Millions of Americans are turning to the internet to figure out how to cast their ballots this fall—and online searches related to the election are already much higher than they were in 2012, according to data released by Google.
Google searches related to voter registration are up 323% compared to four years ago, led by swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Vermont, home base of former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, saw the biggest spike in searches related to the election, a rise of 358% compared to 2012.
Voter registration data isn’t yet available for this year, but Google’s data offers some early insight into trends. To serve the many people searching for election information, Google has rolled out new features including an enhanced “how to vote” search result launched this week and a “how to register” search result launched earlier in the summer
“This is a special election, where we’re seeing a huge increase in the information needs people are coming to us in terms of the election,” said Emily Moxley, Google’s project manager for the “how to vote” search feature.
Google often sees a spike in voting-related searches after big news events, like Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in July, which coincided with Donald Trump’s condemnation of the father of a fallen Muslim U.S. soldier: There was a 190% increase in voter registration searches compared to the weeks leading up to the convention.
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