Election Tools from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL

I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that election day is next Tuesday. Whether you’re observing or you’re breaking out the campaign gear for some hardcore get out the vote effors this weekend, here are some tools to help you keep up with the news and your efforts:

Google Earth

You can download a KML file that lets you search results from past elections, since 1980. The data is broken down and can show you how different regions of the country voted – even by county. I used to work as a political consultant, and let me tell you – this kind of data is heavily relied on. It’s a bit of a late release for campaigns, who already have this data. But it’s great for political junkies.

Google News

Trying to remember what a candidate said on an issue? Just type their name into Google News. If Google has indexed a quote by that person, it will appear on top of the search results in the one box.

Google Mobile

Want to know your precinct location? The Google Mobile team has created a special tool just for that purpose. Go to m.google.com/elections on your mobile phone, type in your address and you’ll be directed to your precinct.

The tool did not point me to early voting locations, which in my state are not the same as Election Day precinct locations.

As cool as that is, always verify with your local elections office. Google even helps you do that. They have a box where you enter your state’s abbreviation, and it will pull up relevant links to voting information.

Yahoo Elections Hub and Political Dashboard

Yahoo makes the most of its successful portal platforms with its Elections Hub and Political Dashboard. The dashboard is a super slick map showing the latest poll results. Hopefully they update it with real time results on election night. I can totally see myself keeping the dashboard open while watching results come in on the tv.

Microsoft Live Search xRank

xRank, Live Search’s buzz tool, has a politician section. It’s no surprise that the Rep and Dem presidential and vice presidential candidates take the top 4 spots today. The rest of the top 20 is filled with senate and gubernatorial races, with Hillary Clinton and George Bush thrown in for good measure.

MSN Election Live Q&A

Q&A is Live Search’s answer product, and over at the MSN Election Guide, you can find the Election Live Q&A. It’s pretty straightforward. You can ask and answer questions about the election in real time.

AOL Elections Toolbar

AOL has a toolbar for IE and Firefox that can keep you up to date with election news. If you like to surf the net while watching TV – this could be an ideal toolbar for you come Tuesday night.

Well, hopefully that’s enough to keep you busy and up to date.

Got any tools to share? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

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