Where, when and how to vote
Voting Information Project: Founded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Google and the states, VIP aims to organize and distribute information about polling places, times, restrictions and local ballot initiatives. It does so in two main ways: an online widget and a texting service. Enter your address into the widget below to see your polling place and links for more information about your ballot.
Or, text “VOTE” or “VOTO” to GOVOTE (468-683) to receive polling place details, contact information for local officials and other election information.
Get to the Polls: Actually, VIP has one more tool designed to help people vote. Alongside VIP, Get to the Polls is backed by Google, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Amazon, AT&T and other major tech companies. It’s a simple service, allowing users to input a home address to see the location of their polling place on Google Maps.
Washington Post voting tool: This one doesn’t discuss where to cast your ballot, but it provides clear information about the voting requirements in each state. For example, this tool outlines the 14 states with new voting restrictions and confirms whether you’ll need photo ID, proof of citizenship or other identification when you hit the polls.
Google: Google offers personalized ballot information and voting locations based on common search phrases like, “Where do I vote?” or “Who’s on my ballot?” This follows Google’s previous initiatives to help citizens vote early or in person and get people registered on time. The company is also sending out alerts straight to potential voters’ phones with information about polling places and restrictions.
Who and what to vote for
Vote411: Powered by the League of Women Voters Education Fund, Vote411 features ballot details and information about candidates for national and local elections. Simply enter your address and see what your ballot has to offer. Keep in mind that information about specific candidates is provided by the campaigns themselves, meaning some candidates are simply missing platforms altogether. Vote411 also provides polling places for those who want to triple-check that they have the correct location.
USA.gov: If Vote411 doesn’t offer information on your candidates, go directly to the source. USA.gov makes it easy to find your official state election site — just choose your state from the dropdown menu to be taken directly to your local, official voting information hub.
Election day reminders and tools
HelloVote: This is a good one for all the forgetful, stressed or overwhelmed folks out there. HelloVote sends you text messages with your polling location, election day reminders including a calendar invite, details on voter ID laws and other important information. Text “HELLO” to 384-387 or enter your phone number on the HelloVote website to take advantage of these SMS tools.
HelloVote comes from Fight for the Future, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that advocates for internet rights and freedoms.
Electionland: Once you get to the polls, if you see instances of intimidation, attempts at suppression or voter fraud in action, text “ELECTIONLAND” to 69866 or submit a report directly on the website. Electionland is an initiative led by the independent, non-profit journalism outlet ProPublica and a handful of news organizations from across the country, including Google News Lab, WNYC and The New York Times.
Google Trends powers the real-time Electionland map that shows instances of people searching for long wait times, provisional ballots, inactive voter status, voter intimidation and voting machine problems across the country.
Hillary for America: This one clearly comes from the Hillary Clinton camp, but it’s a useful service regardless of your political preferences. If you have a voting question, get an answer from a team of more than 50 staffers and volunteers by tweeting @HFA, posting on Clinton’s Facebook page or texting “QUESTION” to 47246.
Election Protection: As the largest non-partisan voter advocacy group in the nation, Election Protection has a live hotline available to answer your voting questions at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683). On Monday, November 7th, the hotline is live until 8:30 PM local time in most areas. On Tuesday, November 8th (election day), the hotline will be live 30 minutes before polls open and 30 minutes after they close in each state.
The candidates on tech
Engadget election guide: Now that you know where, when and how to vote, let’s get down to the why. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein have vastly varied views on technology and science issues — and one of these people will soon be in a position to enact nationwide change in these fields over the next four years. That means control over net neutrality, government surveillance, NASA, STEM education and the country’s response to climate change, among other topics.
In the Engadget election guide, we’ve graded each of the candidates and provided details about their stances within the science and tech industries. Study up, and once you find the candidate that best speaks to your own views, get out and vote.