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These tech companies will help you vote on Nov. 8

Twitter, Facebook and Tinder are among the sites where voters can get info on how and where to vote

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 2, 2016 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4807

It feels like this election has been going on forever, and that it may never, ever end, but fear not! It will actually all be over soon, in less than a week. You can make it, I know you can! 

I've talked a bunch about how technology is changing elections, specifically social media, in terms of how the campaigns are run and how they are able to reach voters, but tech companies are also helping voters, giving them more information about who they should vote for, how to register and where to go.

Here are some of the initatives launched to help voters this year by tech companies this year:

Tinder

Earlier this year, Tinder partnered with Rock the Vote for "Swipe the Vote." The idea was to swipe left or right on a number of different policies, in order to see which candidate each user should vote for in the primary, based on their preferences.

Last week, the company brought it back for the general election, while also extending it to 15 other countries around the world. The result: Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in every single country, except for Russia. 

Beyond just giving its users the lowdown on who they most align with, Tinder also added in a feature that, once they were done swiping, would help its users in the U.S. find their closest polling location, so they know where to go on November 8 to take that information and do something with it. 

Facebook

Facebook took a bigger part in this election season than ever before by actually helping debate moderators shape their questions, but it has also installed new features that give voters more information on how to vote. 

That included a vote planner, which is tailor-made for each user, allowing them to view the races and issues they'll see on their local ballot.

That includes more about the candidates and their positions, including information the candidates have provided about their policy positions, their endorsements, recent posts and their website. Users can also add a candidate to their favorites and then email themselves their choices for later reference.

The site is also allowing users to endorse candidates on their profile. 

Twitter

Twitter also took a bigger role in the debates this year, teaming up with CBS to provide insights, analytics and questions from its users.

The company also made it easier to get registered, allowing users to send a Direct Message to Twitter’s @Gov account with their zip code. In response, that person would received an automatic Direct Message response including their state’s voter registration deadline and a personalized link to get registered.

The account can also answer additional questions from voters that go beyond registering (which is now over and done with) such as polling place location and ballot information.

Twitter also simplified the process of donating to a campaign, teaming up with Square to allow users to donate to their candidate of choice directly from a tweet. 

The campaigns themselves have to sign up to receive the funding by registering with Square Cash. Square will then verify the campaign, allowing the campaign to Tweet a unique URL, or $Cashtag, to request donations from its supporters.

Google

Over the summer, the company launched a new search feature that would give users more information about how to register, including requirements and deadlines, when they typed in "register to vote."

It also began giving more information about the National Conventions when a user would search for it, including a summary of the event, information about the nominee, and a list of speakers, alongside related social media posts and a YouTube live stream video.

Snapchat

Snapchat likely has the youngest audience of all of these networks, so its efforts to get users to register might have been the most important.

In September of last year, the company partnered with TurboVote, an online service to help every American vote in every election, in which TurboVote's videos, in Snapchat's Stories and Discovery tabs, would feature celebrities, like Jimmy Fallon, telling users that they should vote.

If they swiped up, they'd be taken to TurboVote's voter registration page.

YouTube

In September, YouTube unveiled its own get out the vote campaign, called #voteIRL.

The company partnered with its creator community, including Bethany Mota, Hannah Hart, Kingsley, and Hank Green, who encourage their viewers to register and vote. 

The site also put registration reminders on its homepage, watch page, and search results page on September 27, Voter Registration Day.

(Image source: kut.org)


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