The Voting Information Project, or VIP, a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and Google, provided voters in Virginia, New Jersey, and New York City with essential election information Nov. 5, when they needed it most. VIP partners with Google and other technology companies to make election information, such as polling places and ballot information, available to voters where they are most likely to look—online.
The VIP online and mobile tools also played an important role in the New Jersey special election Oct. 16 to fill a U.S. Senate seat. The polling-place lookup tool offered by the New Jersey Division of Elections returned error messages that day, prompting the state to redirect voters to VIP. The spokesman for New Jersey’s Treasury Department, which oversees state websites, said the VIP locator tool offered more information than the state’s system, including particularly a map showing users where they should vote.
The Virginia State Board of Elections featured the VIP lookup tool on their website during the general election Nov. 5. Virginia’s Republican candidates, including Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain, also linked to the VIP lookup tool.