Category Archives: Politics & Elections Blog

Trends, tools and news from the Google Politics and Elections team

Google and YouTube can help keep you informed on Election Day

It’s Election Day Eve, the day before before millions of people across the U.S. will head to the polls and cast votes for their elected officials. But before you get to the ballot box -- and head out with that sticker! -- check Google to get the information on where to vote and election results.

elections

Starting when the polls close on Election Day, you will be able to find U.S. election results integrated right into your Google searches in over 30 languages around the world. You’ll also be able to see detailed updates and results of the Presidential, Senatorial, Congressional, Gubernatorial races as well as state-level referenda and ballot propositions.

For the past several months, Google has helped people find information about the democratic process: our search results have helped voters register and explained the voting process with information on how to vote, who’s on their ballot, and how to find their local polling place in both English and Spanish. Since releasing these in-depth search results, we've seen millions of people engage with these tools on Google -- there's even been a startling 233% increase in traffic for "how to vote" compared with 2012. In addition to “how to vote,” Americans are actively searching for “where to vote” -- particularly in battleground states, as depicted in these county-by-county breakdowns:

Over the past few weeks viewers spent over 20 million hours watching - and rewatching - the presidential debate live streams on YouTube. Tomorrow, YouTube will be live streaming election results coverage from more news organizations than ever before. Starting at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 8, tune in to live coverage from NBC, PBS, MTV, Bloomberg, Telemundo and The Young Turks to keep up with all of the action as it happens. Complex News will also be delivering live coverage during a special election event from YouTube Space NY. And to close out YouTube’s #voteIRL campaign, creators and fans have been posting their #voteIRL selfie to mark that they’re going to vote. And tune in to some special voting reminder PSAs starring POTUS and some familiar-looking furry friends.

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Whether you voted early, plan to head to the polls tomorrow, host an Election Night watch party, or live stream the victory speech from America’s new President-Elect, we’re here to help. From the ballot box to tomorrow’s late-night returns, we hope Google’s tools help guide you through Election Day in a simple, clear and informative way.

And one last thing: don’t forget to vote. It matters.

Ballot Propositions Matter to Voters

While much of the news is focused on the presidential race, on November 8 there will be 165 propositions on the ballot that could impact over 205 million Americans in 35 states.1

When it comes to learning more about their state’s referenda in the final days of the Election, voters are increasingly turning online. That’s why we have launched features in Google Search to help voters learn who and what propositions are on their ballot. And people are searching.

Seventy-five percent of all searches on ballot propositions happen the month before Election Day.2 One out of five voters continue to research their on their phones as they enter the voting booth.3

Digital tools continue to have an impact on voter awareness around ballot measures and new research confirms it.

New research from comScore, in conjunction with Google and the digital campaigns of statewide ballot initiatives, shows how voters exposed to digital advertising react differently to those who were not shown the same content. For voters who saw the display and video advertising, awareness of the ballot proposition increased by 27 percentage points. Furthermore, intent to vote increase by 14 points.4

For voters who saw the display and video advertising, awareness of the ballot proposition increased by 27 percentage points. ComScore Ad Effectiveness Suite

With just one week to go, reaching voters effectively has never been more important. Digital tools offer campaigns a huge opportunity to educate voters and effectively increase awareness and intent to vote. Learn more about how campaigns are reaching voters online through digital advertising here or see Google’s GOTV toolkit here.

Want to make sure your users know what propositions are on their ballot? We have a new, embeddable ballot information and polling place lookup tool for organizations of any shape and size. All you need to do is copy and paste and you’re ready to go! More information here.


1 Ballotpedia
Google Internal Data
Google Consumer Surveys
ComScore Ad Effectiveness Suite

Ballot Propositions Matter to Voters

While much of the news is focused on the presidential race, on November 8 there will be 165 propositions on the ballot that could impact over 205 million Americans in 35 states.1

When it comes to learning more about their state’s referenda in the final days of the Election, voters are increasingly turning online. That’s why we have launched features in Google Search to help voters learn who and what propositions are on their ballot. And people are searching.

Seventy-five percent of all searches on ballot propositions happen the month before Election Day.2 One out of five voters continue to research their on their phones as they enter the voting booth.3

Digital tools continue to have an impact on voter awareness around ballot measures and new research confirms it.

New research from comScore, in conjunction with Google and the digital campaigns of statewide ballot initiatives, shows how voters exposed to digital advertising react differently to those who were not shown the same content. For voters who saw the display and video advertising, awareness of the ballot proposition increased by 27 percentage points. Furthermore, intent to vote increase by 14 points.4

For voters who saw the display and video advertising, awareness of the ballot proposition increased by 27 percentage points. ComScore Ad Effectiveness Suite

With just one week to go, reaching voters effectively has never been more important. Digital tools offer campaigns a huge opportunity to educate voters and effectively increase awareness and intent to vote. Learn more about how campaigns are reaching voters online through digital advertising here or see Google’s GOTV toolkit here.

Want to make sure your users know what propositions are on their ballot? We have a new, embeddable ballot information and polling place lookup tool for organizations of any shape and size. All you need to do is copy and paste and you’re ready to go! More information here.


1 Ballotpedia
Google Internal Data
Google Consumer Surveys
ComScore Ad Effectiveness Suite

Get polling place and ballot information quickly and easily

Voting matters — and history proves it. In 1839, the Massachusetts gubernatorial election was decided by just two votes out of 102,066. The same was the case in a 1974 New Hampshire Senate race — out of 233,363 votes, only two made the difference. And in 2008, an Alaskan State House race was decided by a single vote.

With Election Day just 25 days away, it’s time to make your vote count. Throughout the summer, we’ve helped voters find information about how to register and how to vote, in both English and Spanish. Now, as you prepare to head to the polls, we want to make sure you know where to vote and who’s on your ballot when you get there.
Google, for the election

From President and Vice President, to Congressperson and County Commissioner, a simple search for “who’s on my ballot” will help you find info on the candidates, as well as detailed information on your state’s referenda. You can tap on a candidate’s name from your ballot to find information about them, including their party and website.

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The final step: showing up! With various polling places popping up across your hometown, we want to make sure you find the info you need from state to state. Starting today and as we continue to add data from each state over the next couple of weeks, whether you’re planning to vote early or in person on November 8, just search “where to vote” and Google will display a polling place location finder as well as voting ID requirements.

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While people can find this crucial information right in Google Search, we’re also opening this data up to other organizations for free. From technology companies like Uber, Twitter, Expedia and Hotels.com to nonprofits like Pew Charitable TrustsThe Voting Information Project, and Democracy Works’ TurboVote Challenge, organizations of all shapes and sizes can use our products and the Google Civic Information API to create tools that get this information into the hands of as many voters possible.

We hope these features will help you get the information you need, when you need it. Your vote matters, so make it count.

Meet the YouTube Directors App Newest Template: Elections

In just over a year, people have watched more than 110 million hours of candidate and issues-related content on YouTube.1 That’s like watching the entire Game of Thrones series almost 2 million times over. And 57% of undecided voters say they’re most likely to pay attention to political advertising when it’s online.

This provides a huge opportunity for nonprofits, voter advocacy organizations and local campaigns of every size and at every level to get in front of voters, but we know creating an engaging video ad can be challenging. We want to make it easier.

With the YouTube Director suite of products, it’s incredibly easy to make a video ad spot and reach those looking to make political decisions. You can even make one right from your phone!

The YouTube Director App

The YouTube Director app provides shot-by-shot guidance so you can create a high-quality video ad quickly and easily -- and upload it right to YouTube from the app. No video editing experience required.

YouTube Director's App Image

As we head into the final 32 days of the election, we’ve just added new, easy-to-create templates for candidate bios, issue stances, ballot propositions, and GOTV spots. (Download here, select “by business,” choose “politics” and then just select the template that suits your needs.)

While this app is DIY, there is also the YouTube Director onsite option that allows you to work with a professional film crew in select cities. Learn more here.

No matter what size campaign, getting the word out on YouTube just became a whole lot easier.


Think with Google, March 2016

Meet the YouTube Directors App Newest Template: Elections

In just over a year, people have watched more than 110 million hours of candidate and issues-related content on YouTube.1 That’s like watching the entire Game of Thrones series almost 2 million times over. And 57% of undecided voters say they’re most likely to pay attention to political advertising when it’s online.

This provides a huge opportunity for nonprofits, voter advocacy organizations and local campaigns of every size and at every level to get in front of voters, but we know creating an engaging video ad can be challenging. We want to make it easier.

With the YouTube Director suite of products, it’s incredibly easy to make a video ad spot and reach those looking to make political decisions. You can even make one right from your phone!

The YouTube Director App

The YouTube Director app provides shot-by-shot guidance so you can create a high-quality video ad quickly and easily -- and upload it right to YouTube from the app. No video editing experience required.

YouTube Director's App Image

As we head into the final 32 days of the election, we’ve just added new, easy-to-create templates for candidate bios, issue stances, ballot propositions, and GOTV spots. (Download here, select “by business,” choose “politics” and then just select the template that suits your needs.)

While this app is DIY, there is also the YouTube Director onsite option that allows you to work with a professional film crew in select cities. Learn more here.

No matter what size campaign, getting the word out on YouTube just became a whole lot easier.


Think with Google, March 2016

Meet the YouTube Directors App Newest Template: Elections

In just over a year, people have watched more than 110 million hours of candidate and issues-related content on YouTube.1 That’s like watching the entire Game of Thrones series almost 2 million times over. And 57% of undecided voters say they’re most likely to pay attention to political advertising when it’s online.

This provides a huge opportunity for nonprofits, voter advocacy organizations and local campaigns of every size and at every level to get in front of voters, but we know creating an engaging video ad can be challenging. We want to make it easier.

With the YouTube Director suite of products, it’s incredibly easy to make a video ad spot and reach those looking to make political decisions. You can even make one right from your phone!

The YouTube Director App

The YouTube Director app provides shot-by-shot guidance so you can create a high-quality video ad quickly and easily -- and upload it right to YouTube from the app. No video editing experience required.

YouTube Director's App Image

As we head into the final 32 days of the election, we’ve just added new, easy-to-create templates for candidate bios, issue stances, ballot propositions, and GOTV spots. (Download here, select “by business,” choose “politics” and then just select the template that suits your needs.)

While this app is DIY, there is also the YouTube Director onsite option that allows you to work with a professional film crew in select cities. Learn more here.

No matter what size campaign, getting the word out on YouTube just became a whole lot easier.


Think with Google, March 2016

#IRegistered to vote. Have you?

¡Hola! Desplazarse hacia abajo para leer este mensaje en español -Ed.

On the eve of National Voter Registration Day, we’re doing our part to encourage American voters to get registered for the 2016 election. We've already added in-depth information in Search for registration and how to vote, and now we're adding this same information in Spanish. Now both Spanish and English speakers will be able to get custom, state-by-state information on key registration deadlines, when to get to the polls, and even steps on how to vote early or by mail. We hope this feature helps simplify the registration process for more American voters.

vote_spanish_2.jpg
By helping more people get registered, we're also helping ensure more people get to the polls and vote. The majority of Americans who register to vote end up voting — according to the US Census Bureau, in 2012, 86 percent of those who registered also voted in the November election.


Today's Google Doodle encourages people to get registered in time for National Voter Registration Day

YouTube creators also want you to head to the polls and #voteIRL. Tune in to this playlist to see how you can register to vote in the amount of time it takes Ryan Seacrest to host a radio show or The Fung Bros to shoot hoops. Surprising fact: it only takes one minute and 34 seconds! Once you’ve registered, join us in encouraging others along the voting process by sharing a post with #IRegistered on social media.

Registering to vote is just the first step toward casting your ballot in this year’s election. We hope that you’ll be inspired to learn more about the candidates, the issues, and the voting process — and make your voice heard in 2016!

Posted by Jonathan Betz, Engineering Manager, Civic Engagement


_________________________________________________________________________________

Yo me registre para votar. ¿Y tu? #IRegistered

En la víspera del Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes, estamos haciendo nuestra parte para animar a los votantes estadounidenses para registrarse para las elecciones del 2016. Ya hemos añadido información detallada en búsqueda de como registrarte y cómo votar, y ahora estamos añadiendo esa misma información en español.

Ahora, tanto los hablantes de español e inglés podrán obtener información personalizada, estado por estado sobre las fechas clave de registro, horarios para llegar a las urnas, e incluso los pasos necesarios para votar temprano o por correo. Esperamos que esta función ayude a simplificar el proceso de registro para más votantes estadounidenses.


Al ayudar a que más personas se registren, también estamos ayudando a asegurar que más personas lleguen a las urnas y voten. La mayoría de los estadounidenses que se registran para votar terminan ejerciendo su voto - según la Oficina del Censo de Estados Unidos, en el año 2012, el 86 por ciento de los que se registraron también votaron en las elecciones de noviembre.


El Google Doodle de hoy anima a la gente para que se registren a tiempo como parte del Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes

Los creadores de YouTube también quieren que acudas a las urnas y voten en vida real con la campaña #voteIRL. Te recomendamos sintonizar esta lista de videos para aprender cómo puedes registrarte para votar casi en la misma cantidad de tiempo que le toma a Ryan Seacrest presentar su programa de radio o a los Fung Bros jugar baloncesto. De hecho, te sorprenderá saber que: ¡sólo te tomará un minuto y 34 segundos! Una vez que te hayas registrado, te invitamos a acompañarnos a animar a otros a lo largo del proceso de votar, compartiendo un post utilizando #IRegistered en tus redes sociales.

Registrarse para votar es sólo el primer paso para emitir tu voto en las elecciones de este año. ¡Esperamos que te inspires a aprender más sobre los candidatos, los temas, y el proceso de votación - y al mismo tiempo hacer oír tu voz en el 2016!

Publicado por Jonathan Betz, Gerente de Ingeniería, Participación Cívica

#IRegistered to vote. Have you?

¡Hola! Desplazarse hacia abajo para leer este mensaje en español -Ed.

On the eve of National Voter Registration Day, we’re doing our part to encourage American voters to get registered for the 2016 election. We've already added in-depth information in Search for registration and how to vote, and now we're adding this same information in Spanish. Now both Spanish and English speakers will be able to get custom, state-by-state information on key registration deadlines, when to get to the polls, and even steps on how to vote early or by mail. We hope this feature helps simplify the registration process for more American voters.

vote_spanish_2.png

By helping more people get registered, we're also helping ensure more people get to the polls and vote. The majority of Americans who register to vote end up voting — according to the US Census Bureau, in 2012, 86 percent of those who registered also voted in the November election.

VoterRegistration_EN.jpg
Today's Google Doodle encourages people to get registered in time for National Voter Registration Day
YouTube creators also want you to head to the polls and #voteIRL. Tune in to this playlist to see how you can register to vote in the amount of time it takes Ryan Seacrest to host a radio show or The Fung Bros to shoot hoops. Surprising fact: it only takes one minute and 34 seconds! Once you’ve registered, join us in encouraging others along the voting process by sharing a post with #IRegistered on social media.

Registering to vote is just the first step toward casting your ballot in this year’s election. We hope that you’ll be inspired to learn more about the candidates, the issues, and the voting process — and make your voice heard in 2016!


Yo me registre para votar. ¿Y tu? #IRegistered

En la víspera del Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes, estamos haciendo nuestra parte para animar a los votantes estadounidenses para registrarse para las elecciones del 2016. Ya hemos añadido información detallada en búsqueda de como registrarte ycómo votar, y ahora estamos añadiendo esa misma información en español.

Ahora, tanto los hablantes de español e inglés podrán obtener información personalizada, estado por estado sobre las fechas clave de registro, horarios para llegar a las urnas, e incluso los pasos necesarios para votar temprano o por correo. Esperamos que esta función ayude a simplificar el proceso de registro para más votantes estadounidenses.

vote_spanish_2.png

Al ayudar a que más personas se registren, también estamos ayudando a asegurar que más personas lleguen a las urnas y voten. La mayoría de los estadounidenses que se registran para votar terminan ejerciendo su voto - según la Oficina del Censo de Estados Unidos, en el año 2012, el 86 por ciento de los que se registraron también votaron en las elecciones de noviembre.

VoterRegistration_SP.jpg
El Google Doodle de hoy anima a la gente para que se registren a tiempo como parte del Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes
Los creadores de YouTube también quieren que acudas a las urnas y voten en vida real con la campaña #voteIRL. Te recomendamos sintonizar esta lista de videos para aprender cómo puedes registrarte para votar casi en la misma cantidad de tiempo que le toma a Ryan Seacrest presentar su programa de radio o a los Fung Bros jugar baloncesto. De hecho, te sorprenderá saber que: ¡sólo te tomará un minuto y 34 segundos! Una vez que te hayas registrado, te invitamos a acompañarnos a animar a otros a lo largo del proceso de votar, compartiendo un post utilizando #IRegistered en tus redes sociales.

Registrarse para votar es sólo el primer paso para emitir tu voto en las elecciones de este año. ¡Esperamos que te inspires a aprender más sobre los candidatos, los temas, y el proceso de votación - y al mismo tiempo hacer oír tu voz en el 2016!

T minus 54 days until the election: Introducing the Google Trends Elections Hub

With only 54 days until Americans head to the polls, interest in the U.S. presidential election is at an all-time high. In fact, election-related search interest is up 240% in 2016 compared to a similar point during the 2012 election cycle. And those trends around search interest tell an interesting story, revealing the candidates, moments and issues people are most interested in. To make it easier to explore this data, we created the Google Trends Election Hub.

Starting today, the Trends Elections Hub will offer a real-time pulse of the U.S. elections based on Google Trends. On the Hub, you can explore how people are searching for the candidates and political issues across the country. For example, if you explore search interest in the Libertarian party, you’ll see that it’s more searched now than in the 2008 and 2012 elections. The Hub also will help you to find insights about this election at a new, granular level. For instance, while the economy is the most searched issue on average across the swing state of Florida, immigration is more searched in southern counties in the state.

At the top of the Hub, you can click to explore the Presidential candidates, Vice Presidential candidates and campaign tickets.

Elections Hub.png

Each candidate and ticket page displays search interest in the candidate or set of candidates across the U.S., as well as top trending related searches and featured insights.

Elections Hub 2.png

The Election Hub also features county-level data for the first time. Click on a state on the U.S. map, and you can find data around search interest for a Presidential candidate and issues at the county level.

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We’ll also be sharing search trends around the biggest questions Americans have about the voting experience. The map below shows a breakdown of how — and where — people across the country are searching for voter registration.

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Beyond the Hub, you can see Google Trends data across some of your everyday news sites, including AP Election BuzzRealClearPolitics and ProPublica’s Election DataBot.

With record online engagement around this historic 2016 election, we have a unique opportunity tell a story about the U.S. electorate through top of mind interests and questions in Search. And as Americans all across the country get ready to head to the polls, we are excited for the Trends Elections Hub to play a role in telling that story. We hope you check it out!