Google is including new election options to its voice assistant, Google Search, and Google Maps, to make it simpler for US residents to search out voting places forward of the election subsequent month. In Google Search, queries like “early voting places” and “poll drop containers close to me” will give particulars about the place you may vote in particular person or return mail-in ballots, whereas asking the Google Assistant the place to vote will “quickly” present related info in your cellphone, speaker, or good show, Google says.
Then, when you’ve discovered a location, Google says its Maps service can now offer you instructions to voting or poll drop field places, and can present details about voting hours.
Info like that is particularly essential this yr given many extra voters are anticipated to make use of mail-in ballots in gentle of the pandemic. Google says it has partnered with the Voting Info Mission to supply the voting location info, and plans to listing over 200,000 voting places nationwide. In circumstances the place this info just isn’t accessible to supply straight, Google says it can level customers in the direction of state and native election web sites.
In addition to proactively offering voting info, Google and its subsidiaries are additionally making an attempt to restrict the unfold of voting misinformation, together with claims about mail-in voting. Simply final month, YouTube unveiled new guidelines focusing on misinformation about mail-in voting. Nevertheless, Google was criticized again in August for failing to take away deceptive advertisements about voting by mail. President Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail voting will lead to fraud.