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Google Gets Virginians to the Polls

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By Melanie Bender October 28, 2009

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With the Virginia general election only a week away, residents of the commonwealth looking for voting information might find one of Google's latest gadgets useful.

The 2009 Virginia Voting Information Project Google gadget, like most Google gadgets, can be scaled and embedded on any Web site. Virginia residents plug in their address and the Google gadget, using data provided by the Virginia Board of Elections, will give them the address and directions to their polling place, a list of candidates who will appear on their ballot, and contact information for their local election official.

The folks at the Voting Information Project, a group effort spearheaded by Google and the Pew Center on the States, praised the Virgina Board of Elections for "ensuring election information is easily distributed by lots of different channels," and rightly so.

It's not enough that the Virginia State Board of Elections has a Web site with all of the information voters will need posted on it. There's no guarantee that people will know or be inclined to seek out information there. So, they made the information portable, and now anyone who thinks they have an audience that would be interested can easily pass the data along.

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