Ahead of the U.S. presidential election next month, Google is introducing new features aimed to help users find the nearest voting locations. The additions have been made to the firm's voice assistant, Google Search, and Google Maps.
The firm noted that during 2020, searches for "how to vote" in the U.S. have surged to an all-time high. Therefore, it launched election-specific features to provide users with relevant information from trusted organizations in Google Search.
When users type in "early voting locations" or "ballot drop boxes near me," Google Search will provide details pertaining to in-person voting or returning mail-in ballots. If users ask the Search app where they will be able to vote "soon," they will be provided relevant information on their Assistant-supported phone, smart speaker, or smart display, the blog post read.
Upon finding a location, users can then use the firm's Map service for directions to voting or ballot drop box locations, in addition to viewing voting hours. Google stated that the information has been taken from a joint project between state election officials and Democracy Works, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization.
For places where voting locations are not yet available, searches will return state and local election website to users. Google added that it will continue to add more locations and information across Google Search, Assistant, and Maps.