Home Google to Build Tools to Increase Voter Participation

Google to Build Tools to Increase Voter Participation

From gerrymandering of electoral districts to new debates over requiring voters to present government ID at polling stations, whether and how more or less people participate in elections has always been an intensely political matter. Beginning today, technology giant Google will place a new focus on analyzing and providing tools for maximizing voter engagement with elections, the company announced this morning.

In a blog post tagged Goodbye, Jake Parrillo of Google’s Politics & Elections Team shut down the 2.5 year old Public Sector and Elections Lab blog and announced the launch of the company’s new Google Politics and Elections Team Blog. The new blog will expand coverage of Google’s growing activities aimed at increasing voter engagement.

“With the 2012 US election cycle kicking into high gear, the frequency of high profile elections across the globe and as more Googlers across the globe work to build tools to connect voters to the electoral process, we figured it was time to give our elections and politics project a proper blog home and an opportunity to expand in terms of coverage,” Parrillo wrote. (Emphasis added.)

From Google Moderator to live YouTube to the company’s work analyzing search terms durring debates and more – there’s a lot that Google can do to engage with elections, all of it connected by the social thread of fast-growing social network Google Plus.

Recent blog posts on the new Google Elections blog have focused on search trends around the Republican candidate debates and Google’s participation in the global Open Government Partnership project.

The company today announced a contest for members of the public who could identify interesting political trends in Google search data.

While the creation of tools to encourage public analysis and engagement with elections might be framed as a non-partisan activity, at least in the United States it would probably be naive to understand it that way.

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