The civics team at Google works to drive broader civic engagement.  In particular, they focus on three areas:

  1. Reducing the effort involved in participating in elections.
  2. Helping people learn about the candidates, process and issues.
  3. Helping people understand the outcome and impact of elections.

The team has launched civic features and products all over the world.  The launches I worked on while at Google are listed below.


2016

  • US Primary Election Features
    • Launched candidate issue quotes, a feature that algorithmically extracted snippets of text from Google News to help users understand the candidate positions on important issues of the day.
      • Feature ranked first for average time viewed across all search globally
    • Launched election results feature with live data for all Presidential primaries and caucuses.
    • Launched Google Now cards for voting reminders, election schedule, winner notifications and delegate summary.
  • US General Elections Features
    • Launched four voter assistant features including information for voters on key deadlines, customized state by state info, voter registration information, personalized ballot information and polling place information.
      • Features received 150M impressions
      • All features were localized into English and Spanish
    • Launched feature that allowed candidates to claim and edit their knowledge panel, providing statements on their top priorities and on key issues
      • Added information for ~ 75,000 candidates to the Knowledge Graph
    • Launched election results feature with live data for Presidential, House, Senate, Gubernatorial and Referenda contests.
      • The launch included international version of the feature tailored for non-US users following the election results internationalized into 35 languages
      • During the peak hour at 11:00 PM ET on election night, almost 35% of global search traffic was looking for election results
      • Successfully piloted a new open format for election results data using a standard co-developed with NIST.
    • Launched Google Now cards and notifications for voter registration deadlines, early voting locations, election day voting locations, and election results
    • Provided support for polling place and election results queries for Google Home and Google Assistant
    • 2016 Voter Information for Google Civic Information API
      • Provided data and developer support for voter information queries.  
      • API received 44M external queries of polling place and ballot data, representing a 54% growth over 2014

2015

  • Spain Election Results Feature
  • Mexico Election Results Feature
  • UK Election Results Feature
  • Canada Election Results Feature
  • Google Now Municipal Civic Alerts Pilot
    • The municipal civic alert Google Now cards proactively informed users about civic events (school cancellation, suspension of trash pick-up, volunteer opportunity, city counsel meeting) that impacted the immediate neighborhood around their house. The alerts provided users the information they needed to adjust their daily activities to accommodate shifting civic services and helped them connect more deeply with community news and activities.

2014

  • US Mid-Term Elections
    • Launched six voter assistant features with information on  voter ID requirements, voter registration, polling place information, and localized ballot information.  
      • Features used a total of 70M times including 16M polling place and ballot information lookups across Google. 
    • 2014 Voter Information for Google Civic Information API
      • Provided data and developer support for voter information queries from the Google Civic Information API.  
      • API received 15M user-facing calls from 100+ organizations external to Google.
    • Launched Google Now cards including voter registration reminders, early voting reminders, election day polling place cards and election results cards.
    • Launched Get to the Polls, a joint initiative with key tech partners powered by our Civic Information API. Companies involved include: Amazon, AOL, Microsoft, Facebook, Foursquare, Lyft, Meetup, Tumblr, and Twitter. The site had 8M pageviews, and resulted in 5.6M calls to the API for voter information by address.
  • Brazil Election Results
    • Launched election night feature providing users live election results for the Brazilian election on the evening of Oct 5th and on the evening of the subsequent runoff Oct 26th.

2013

2012

  • US General Election Features
    • Obtained data to support launch of 15 features used 115M times, including driving 23M+ polling place and ballot information lookups across Google and supporting 100+ API developers.
    • Launched live election results visualizations and voter registration guide.