Today is Election Day, marking the end of a long, bitter battle between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. While many Americans have already cast their ballots, the rest of the country is preparing to vote in one of the most contentious elections in recent history.
Many tech companies have rolled out digital tools to help voters from everything from locating their polling place to following the election results when they’ll start coming in later tonight. Even ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are offering promotions for riders to get out and vote, while car-rental service Zipcar is letting its members use cars free-of-charge to drive to polls in some states.
Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google division has been very involved in this election cycle, connecting U.S. voters with information on polling places and voter registration. Today, the company is set to display the election results directly in its search engine—in over 30 languages—as soon as the polls close. The results are going to be updated continuously, and voters can switch between the Presidential, House, and Senate races, among others.
Google will also offer other information like how many seats are up for grabs in the House and Senate, how many Gubernatorial races are underway, and how many more electoral votes Clinton or Trump may need to win. YouTube will be showing voters the election results, with live streams from more news organizations than ever before.
Facebook Inc. (FB - Free Report) is getting in on Election Day action, too. Like Google, the social networking giant has played a key role during this election, hosting live streams of all three presidential debates and being one of the go-to digital platforms for voters. Recently, the company unveiled a tool to help users create a “voting plan,” showing both presidential candidates as well as information on statewide races. You can even give Facebook your address if you need info on your local elections.
On November 6, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a post saying that the social network had helped over 2 million people register to vote. "Voting is one of our great responsibilities as citizens in a democracy," he said. "That's why you've probably seen us actively encouraging everyone who can vote, to go vote."
A popular social media choice for both Clinton and Trump, Twitter Inc. (TWTR - Free Report) has been constantly reminding its users to get out and vote this year. Users can direct-message @Gov if they need help finding their polling place or any ballot information. And on Monday, the company said in blog post that “people in the U.S. sent 1 billion Tweets about the election since the primary debates began in August of last year.”
Snapchat, too, has offered its users election season coverage, an important, influential move for the video and messaging app as its user base is primarily young people. In its Live Stories, the company will display election results, acceptance and concession speeches, and much more. There will also be election-related geofilters, a hallmark Snapchat feature, for its users to utilize and share with friends.
Tech companies helped and supported us this election cycle, providing different platforms for voters to express thoughts and feelings about each candidate. If you haven’t yet, get out and vote!
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