Google adds new features to Google Search, Maps for voters ahead of US elections

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Google is adding a range of new ‘election-related features’ for users in the United States ahead of the 2020 US Presidential Elections.The tech giant, in a blog post on Friday said that, “searches for “how to vote” in the US are higher than ever before”.“We’ve launched election-related features with information from trusted and authoritative organisations in Google Search,” it said.Also read: Facebook, Instagram to ban advertisements that delegitimise US election resultsUsers in the US can now view voting locations closest to them in Google Search and Maps. For searches like “early voting locations” or “ballot drop boxes near me”, users will be able to find details on Google Search on where they can vote in person or return their mail-in ballot “It will also include helpful reminders, like to bring your ballot completed and sealed,” Google said. Users will also be able to get information from Google Assistant on their smart phone, smart speaker or smart display when they ask, “Hey Google, where do I vote?”Also read: Ahead of US elections, Facebook and Twitter crack down on campaign linked to Russia’s IRA“After you’ve selected a voting location or ballot drop box in your area, you can click through from Google Search or Google Assistant to Google Maps for quick information about how far it is, how to get there, and voting hours. Similarly, if you search for your voting location in Google Maps you’ll have easy access to the feature in Search to help you confirm where you can cast your vote,” Google explained.The tech major is sourcing information for the feature from the Voting Information Project, a partnership between Democracy Works, a non-profit, non-partisan civic organisation, and state election officials, it said.

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