Mobile Commons is launching a new polling place locator to ensure that New Yorkers can find their way to the polls on Tuesday’s election. The locator – available in both English and Spanish – will use data from the Voting Information Project and will be powered by Google’s API. Following our success sending people to the proper polling place after Hurricane Sandy disrupted the 2012 election, we’re excited to once again make certain that citizens know where to go on election day.
Why Texting is the Best Way to Send Polling Information
Across the country, millions of people don’t vote in elections, often because they simply don’t know where to go. In 2008, for example, almost 2 million people failed to vote because they didn’t know where their polling place was.
Many of these people can’t turn to the Internet. A recent Pew report showed that a whopping 20% of American adults don’t use the Internet at all. Usage was lowest among the economically disadvantaged and minority groups, including Spanish speakers, the elderly, those without a high school education, and those earning less than $30,000 a year.
Text messaging has proven to be one of the most powerful tools available to get out the vote. A Princeton University study found that a text message reminder increased a person’s likelihood to vote by 4-5 percent.
It’s simple for someone to send a text, no matter where they are; they could be at home, at work, or in transit looking for their polling place. In 2012, Mobile Commons helped 250,000 people find their polling place, even after Hurricane Sandy disrupted the election in New York and New Jersey.
We are proud to be able to offer the same service for New York City’s upcoming election.
Easy to Use – in English and Spanish
The polling place locator is extremely easy to use. Voters simply text in their home address and Mobile Commons software automatically responds with the address and hours of their polling place.
To find your polling place for the New York City 2013 election:
- Text VOTE to 36453 for English instructions.
- Text VOTA to 36453 for Spanish instructions.
There’s no reason anybody who wants to vote should be excluded due to lack of information. Text messaging is used by everyone, regardless of income, race or political party, so it’s the perfect tool to reach voters of every variety.