Election Day is right around the corner, and this year’s vote will have huge implications for our individual futures and the future of our country.
Our friends at Google are placing a huge emphasis on helping to get out the vote and recently launched new products to help people find relevant, state-specific voting information. Here at Expedia, we’re excited about the tools because they provide people with details on how to vote—even if you’re going to be out of town on November 8.
Specifically, we’re using Google’s data to reach out to customers we know will be traveling during the voting period. To do this, we’re analyzing our data and are sending an email alert to each traveler who books a trip that will take him or her away from home on November 8. These alerts notify our customers that their travel will impact on-site voting options. The emails then encourage travelers to learn more about alternative voting options with Google’s tools.
We also have a page dedicated to informing absentee voters about these tools: www.expedia.com/vote.
Specifically, our data shows the highest volumes of travelers departing California, New York, Florida, Texas and Illinois in the days before Nov. 8.
Viewfinder Tip: Even if you’re expecting to be out of town on Election Day, make sure you exercise your right to vote!
All told, the Expedia Inc., brands (which include Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Cheap Tickets, and Egencia) will send notifications to about 200,000 Americans who will be traveling on Election Day.
“Expedia wants to help eliminate travel as the reason citizens fail to vote,” said John Morrey, vice president and general manager, Brand Expedia. “We are reaching out to customers we know are traveling during the voting period to encourage them to take action before their trip. Google has several search tools available that alert voters to their state’s voting policies.”
As another part of this overall initiative, Google came out with a new search widget that has proven to be super-useful. Whether you’re a first-time voter, a resident in a new state, or your state laws have changed since the last time you voted, you can tap the search engine for information on how to vote in the upcoming election. The tool is available in English and Spanish.
What’s more, a new in-depth search result provides information on ID requirements, deadlines, mail-in ballots and early voting. There’s even a video that explains the tools:
Early statistics show Google’s tools are making a difference. Since releasing the customized voter registration guide last month, Google reports seeing millions of people logging on to learn more about voting and how to register to vote in the United States. Compared to the same time four years ago, nationwide searches for voter registration are up 190 percent nationwide. In states such as Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Maine, and California, search interest in voter registration is up more than 200 percent.
Perhaps the coolest thing about Google’s initiative is the fact that the technology company is making all of the data that powers its “how to register to vote” and our “how to vote” search results available to the public so nonprofits and organizations promoting voter education can benefit and expand the reach of these stats, too.
Again, we’re happy to team up with Google on this initiative—especially because we know how frequently our customers like to travel. If you’re planning on being overseas for Election Day, make sure you do everything you can do to have your vote count! Our future depends on it.
Where will you be on Election Day?