Google’s ‘Election Center’ sends U.S. voters to wrong polling places

“Google can help you research candidates, watch their ads, poke fun at their gaffes and find out how they did on Election Day. But the site hasn’t exactly fared very well at getting voters to the right polling places,” Tony Romm reports for Politico. “One of the search company’s Election Center apps, which helps citizens find their assigned ballot boxes, has served up a series of errors that may have sent some voters to the wrong polling places.”

“A study Tuesday by Aristotle, a political technology company, predicts that more than 700,000 households in a collection of 12 battleground states may have experienced errors on the site that told them to head to the wrong polling stations,” Romm reports. “‘If you’re being sent to the wrong polling place, it’s a pretty big deal, especially if it’s toward the end of the day, and especially if it’s an election that’s closely contested like 2010,’ said John Phillips, CEO of Aristotle, which maintains its own ballot box location service called whereivote.com.”

Romm reports, “The search engine encourages users to let the company know whenever they find a mistake in the data, which it has compiled through state election boards and the Voter Information Project. ‘Anyone who finds a discrepancy can report an error using the link provided at the bottom of the page,’ Google spokesman Aaron Zamost said. But the mishap still provoked a harsh rebuke from Aristotle. ‘Google is a great company; they do things well. This is not one of them,’ Phillips said.”

Full article here.

33 Comments

  1. A little user responsibility here. If you don’t have your voter guide that includes your voting place and what you are voting on, perhaps you shouldn’t be voting anyway.
    I’m not going to shed a tear for anyone who hasn’t read the thing and is just going by what they were told in ads.
    Okay, maybe I’m making some big assumptions here, but common, it’s on your voter guide!
    (at least in Calif. it is)

  2. I love it. Google is like a buffet that sells crappy food cheap. The catch is they really don’t have people working there that’s why they can sell it for so cheap.. It’s not a big deal and employees or cooks at the location are not necessary because all you have to do is email us and we’ll send somebody over with more food or whatever you want. Sounds like a great deal doesn’t it?

    Only problem, it requires the customer to manage the business. Plus there is no guarantee that you will get your food or your order anytime soon or even today. Then again, they might not be able to get to your order for several days because they don’t really cook the food, they contract that out to other companies so it’s really their fault if the order isn’t filled or you weren’t there when the food arrived. You should have planned better. So it’s actually the customers fault and we can’t be held liable.

    Googles will respond by pointing the blame at the customer and the food companies they contract to. They will shout out that what do you want for almost nothing, you should be grateful and the customer and critics are being evil.

    When will people learn that that is the way they operate. It’s a trend with them to go in and steal/copy ideas and kill legitimate companies by giving a way something for free and sell it as the perfect solution. Looks good on paper but doesn’t really work so well in the real world. They SUCK at customer service, they have none and have a proven track record to back it up. Phones!!????

    Google, the best copy and steal company in the world and if it wasn’t for the fact that they are printing money with search, they would have been shut down a long time ago and thrown in jail.

    Sorry, got carried away but why would anyone trust them or buy into their propaganda. You want everything for free….good luck, you’ll get what you deserve.

  3. Sending voters to the WRONG polling places has historically NOT been a mistake. It has been a deliberate method of fixing an election and keeping minorities from voting.

    Therefore Google, you could not have screwed up worse.

    If you can’t do something right, DON’T DO IT. But I fully expect Google are doing their usual arrogant flippancy routine in response to their worst of all possible gaffs. This is how they FAIL.

    Google troll challenge: Turn this gaff into something good for Google. I dare you.

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