Google has launched the India Elections Center, for voters in the upcoming general elections. Google launched similar election tools for the Australia and US in the past, but has added a number of new features to this iteration and added a stronger focus on localized information. The election center enables citizens to get information about their local polling center, confirm their registration status, access election news and view key statistics for their local constituency. Voters can also get information on the background and parliamentary performance of the candidates for this year’s elections as well as their current representative in the Parliament. A post on the official Google blog explains the motivation behind launching this web page,
At Google, we believe information is fundamentally empowering. While all of our technologies demonstrate a commitment to this guiding principle, information is especially important when a society comes together to participate in democratic elections.
We’re hopeful not only that the elections centre will further a culture that seeks access to information, but that it will also yield positive changes in voting patterns during the upcoming polls.
Google has partnered with a number of organizations on this iniative including, the Association for Democratic Reforms, HT Media Limited, Indicus Analytics, the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, the Liberty Institute, and PRS Legislative Services.
Yahoo! India also recently launched a webpage for the Indian general elections. While Yahoo provides fewer localized tools, their site includes many interactive features. For example, voters can build their own election manifesto and vote on the issues that are most important for them. The site also provides information on election dates and locations on a state-by-state basis.