This post was originally published on TechCrunch
Election Day approaches! Still not sure where the nearest polling place or ballot drop box is? Google wants to help.
This morning the company rolled out a handful of features across Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Search, all meant to kick in when a user seems to be looking for information on voting locations.
On Google Search, for example, a search for “ballot drop boxes near me” will now bring up a dedicated tool for finding just that — punch in the address where you’re registered to vote, and it’ll help you find a drop box or polling place accordingly. The same tool will also pop up when you search for things like “how to find polling place” or “where to vote”, so there’s some flexibility in it.
Or if you’ve got an Assistant-powered device nearby (like a Nest Mini, Nest Hub, or an Android phone), you can say “Hey Google, where do I vote?” and Assistant should be able to figure it out accordingly based on your current location (with Assistant assuming, as it’ll note in its response, that your current location is where you’re registered to vote.)
The Maps integration is a bit more limited, but it gets the job done. Searching for “where do I vote” in the Google Maps mobile app results in a prompt that will toss you into the above web-based Google Search flow. Once you’ve found your location, tapping the “Directions” button will swing you back into the Maps app.
Google says it’s pulling its polling location information from the Voting Information Project as part of a partnership with Democracy Works. The company says they’ll be adding more polling places leading up until Election Day, expecting to have over 200,000 in the system when all is said and done.
Don’t want to get your polling place details from Google, or just want to double check things? There’s always sites like Vote.org (which, if you’re curious, is what Siri recommends when prompted with the “Where do I vote?” question), which also provides info on checking your voter registration status, becoming a poll worker, etc.