Home Your Election Day Web Toolkit

Your Election Day Web Toolkit

Everything you need to find voter information, report on your experience, and track election results using social media and the web.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard of several different ways we can use the web to keep track of the U.S. Election coverage. We can use Google to locate our voting locations, record our voting experience for YouTube, and even Twitter our voting issues. Now that E-Day is finally upon us, it’s time revisit those tools as we prepare for the most digitally enhanced election ever.

Get Info On Voting

  • Visit Google’s 2008 Election site to get voter information, directions to the polls, or your state’s voter hotline. (And once you know your polling site, you can catch a ride with the Carpool to the Polls Facebook app).
  • Vote411 has a poll finder and other related election information, ideal for last minute information.
  • Can I Vote? If you’re not sure if you’re registered to vote, head over to Can I Vote to confirm your details.
  • Overseas Vote Foundation: Information on voting if you’re living or traveling outside of the United States.
  • Pew Center on the States: Information on poll opening and closing times.
  • Election Protection: Monitors voting problems. Place to report issues or track them as they happen.
  • Track voter rights news and resources at the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition’s 866ourvote.org.
  • Check out a map-based overview of voting machines used in each state from VerifiedVoting.org and the Verified Voter Foundation, both run by technologists advocating for reliable and publicly verifiable elections.

Record Your Experience

With Video

  • Bring a video camera with you to the polls to capture your voting experience on YouTube’s Video Your Vote channel. Google is using Google Maps to track these videos across the country – and to see where polling problems might be occurring during the day.
  • Document the irregularities or other problems you encounter with your cell phone camera, Flip videocam, or other device, and then upload that content to the CBS News social-media site CBS Eye Mobile. Alternatively, you can submit by e-mail to the address [email protected]. The CBS News Investigates team will monitor those submissions, and may then present select ones in election coverage at CBSNews.com or in on-air reports.

Via Twitter

TwitterVoteReport is a Twitter app that will aggregate all the election day tweets that use the Twitter hashtag #votereport. Just include “#votereport” in your tweet in order for it to get tracked by the service. More advanced Twitterers can also include other hashtags like:

  • #[zip code] to indicate the zip code where you’re voting; ex., “#12345?
  • L:[address or city] to drill down to your exact location; ex. “L:1600 Pennsylvania Avenue DC”
  • #machine for machine problems; ex., “#machine broken, using prov. ballot”
  • #reg for registration troubles; ex., “#reg I wasn’t on the rolls”
  • #wait:[minutes] for long lines; ex., “#wait:120 and I’m coming back later”
  • #early if you’re voting before November 4th
  • #good or #bad to give a quick sense of your overall experience
  • #EP[your state] if you have a serious problem and need help from the Election Protection coalition; ex., #EPOH

From Your Mobile

  • Send a text message to 66937 and start your message with “#votereport”
  • Download and use the iPhone app for VoteReport
  • Find the “votereport” app in the Google Android marketplace

From Your Phone

  • Enter a report by calling 567-258-8683 (VOTE), 208-272-9024, or 617-960-8900
  • If you have a problem voting or see one, call the CNN Voter Hotline at 877-GOCNN-08 (1-877-462-6608).

On The Web

  • If you find yourself having trouble casting your vote, VoterStory.org can help. This non-partisan site is designed to let voters report problems with their local polling place.
  • If you have a problem voting or see one, share your early voting experience with CNN’s iReport.

Get The Election Results


On The Web

  • The New York Times will publish a dashboard to track results as they come in at the county level. NYTimes.com will also keep track of which races the major news organizations have already called. More on the Times’ efforts here.
  • Visit TwitterVoteReport.com to see the reports flow in.
  • The CBS News Investigates team will monitor video submissions (see above section), and may then present select ones in election coverage at CBSNews.com or in on-air reports.
  • Political videos will be featured on the Google homepage all day, including videos made especially for Election Day by both the McCain and Obama campaigns.
  • Current is incorporating streams from social media sites, Digg, Twitter, 12seconds.tv, along with music from DJ Diplo.
  • Access news and results as they occur on the Google Maps Elections Gallery (you can even embed the results onto your own site), or via the Elections section of Google News.
  • Socialmedian is pulling in all sorts of media from tweets to blog posts to Flickr photos, widgetizing all the updates they find, and featuring them on web sites like the washingtonpost.com, guardian.co.uk, and mediadeluge.com.
  • Ask.com launched Election Poll Smart Answers that give local polling information in just one click.
  • Twitter tracks election-related tweets at election.twitter.com
  • Upload photo messages about the election, the candidates and the issues to Giveusahope.com.
  • Follow and contribute crowd-sourced election stories and add your two cents on media bias at Skewz.com.
  • Take a look at the aggregation of election-related news stories, blogs, polls, video and commentary on Electicker2008.com.
  • Contribute election-related news stories and video and blog posts to Politics.com.

Just The Polls

  • CNN will post their exit polls here.
  • Gallup.com – The election 2008 poll results from Gallup, one of the best known polling companies.
  • Pollster.com – Tracks various polls and gives you updated charts on how each candidate is tracking. Also offers an electoral map as well as analysis of what each poll means.
  • RealClearPolitics.com – Features poll breakdowns by state. You can also see a national overview that shows you which candidate is in the lead in each state and by how many points.
  • USAElectionPolls.com – Brings together information on national and state polls, battleground polls, house & senate polls, and more.
  • USAToday.com – While USA Today’s map looks like an electoral vote tracker, it is a map of polls with color coding to give you an idea of the percentage of difference between the candidates.

From Your Mobile

  • AT&T and Verizon’s live mobile TV streaming provider, Flo TV, is offering all manner of coverage of the election, including content from NBC, CBS, FOX News, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, and MTV News–such as “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” and “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.” Flo TV will also offer special Election Day versions of “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show,” along with content from MTV’s “Choose or Lose” and recap up through the first 100 days in office.
  • Sprint will also have live streams and TV clips on election day, featuring content from ABC News Now, CNN Mobile and FOX News Channel.
  • Election 08 application ($0.99)  delivers the latest McCain and Obama polling numbers for every state, graphs historical polling trends, and charts voting patterns in previous elections.
  • On your mobile phone, head to m.google.com/elections to locate your voting location as well as access the latest news.
  • Get SMS text alerts about the election from the New York Times by messaging 698698 with the text: Newsalerts (to stop, text: Stop newsalerts) or text Elections and your zip code (eg, Elections07407) (to spot, text: Stop Elections)
  • Viigo has just added a real-time results for tomorrow’s US Election. The Live Election Results Feed will provide both Overall and State By State results throughout the evening as each contender demonstrates a Firm Lead, or is declared a Winner in each State. Results will be updated every 5 minutes. Download it for free from here.

Reward Yourself!

Now that you voted, reward yourself with some free stuff! If you go to Starbucks today and tell them you voted, you get a free cup of coffee. If you go to Ben & Jerry’s today and tell them you voted, you get a free scoop of ice cream. If you go to Krispy Kreme today and tell them you voted, you get a free donut.

Thanks to Silicon Alley Insider for video sites, Inquisitr for voter info sites, AppScout for mobile voter sites, GigaOM for voter info sites, Mashable for poll web sites

(Image credit: Zappowbang)

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