Analysis

High Number of Voters Use Digital Tools to Find Poll Locations, Ballot Information

By the time the polls closed on Election Day, hundreds of thousands of U.S. voters had accessed Voting Information Project (VIP) tools to find their polling places. In addition, states, local governments, and civic groups across the country placed the Voting Information Tool on their websites throughout 2017 to support voters looking for key information about primaries, runoffs, and local and municipal races. Collectively, these two approaches for using VIP tools resulted in more than 831,000 searches from Nov. 1-7.

VIP, a partnership among The Pew Charitable Trusts, Google, and the states, offers free election tools on a nationwide scale. For the 2017 elections, state and local governments, businesses, media companies, nonprofits, and civic organizations provided the tools for voters by linking to Get to the Polls, embedding a customizable widget on their own websites, or promoting the Short Message Service tool (text VOTE to GOVOTE, 468683).

Organizations using VIP tools included TurboVote, HeadCount, RockTheVote, VotoLatino, SaveTheDay, AT&T, and The Arc. And a geographically and politically diverse group of states—California, Colorado, New Jersey, Oregon, and Virginia—as well as various county governments throughout the country used and promoted VIP’s tools to disseminate official election information to their residents.

Alexis Schuler is the senior director and Monica Leibovitz is an officer for election initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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