Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Mapping Possible Voting Issues

Whatever the result of today's U.S. election I suspect there will be some debate over the next few days around issues of voter fraud, suppression and intimidation. Electionland is using Google Trends to track voting issues around the country as they happen.

More than 650 journalism students, 450 journalists, 250 media organizations, two nonprofits and seven technology companies have come together to create the Electionland Google Trends Map. The map shows in real-time where people are using Google to search for words and issues about voting.

To create the map Electionland has compiled a list of words that people might use (in Spanish & English) to indicate voting issues while searching Google. Some of the issues that are addressed in these key words are:
  • Long wait times at polling stations 
  • Voting machine issues 
  • Voter intimidation 
  • Inactive voter status 
  • Provisional ballot status
The map itself color codes the results on the map by these five different voting issues. You can also filter the map by any of these issues. Therefore, for example, you could select 'Long wait times' to view where voters could be experiencing long queues before casting their vote. A drop down menu allows you to zoom in on any state to give you a view of the apparent voting issues in the selected state.

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