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electionlineWeekly — November 13, 2014

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 II. VIP Update

Voters use social media and mobile devices to find voting info
During the 2014 midterm elections, voters found election information on their mobile devices and shared it through the social networks at remarkable rates. Analytics from www.gettothepolls.com show that there were just under 8 million visits to the site, with most occurring on Election Day, allowing users to locate their polling places and see what was on their ballots. More than 72 percent of those users visited the site with a mobile device.

The states with the highest number of Election Day visits included:

  • Texas: 538,694.
  • California: 447,812.
  • Georgia: 335,764.
  • Florida: 332,107.
  • New York: 315,548.

Some of this traffic was driven by problems with state and county websites. Georgia’s state election website crashed, requiring voters to use other sources to locate their polling places. Similarly, the Dallas County, Texas, website directed users to gettothepolls.com when it experienced a slow-down.

Get to the polls, a partnership between the Internet Association and the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Voting Information Project, was widely shared on Facebook through a feature that allowed users to tell their social networks when they were voting. Nearly 7 million Facebook users across the country shared the link. Recent research shows that social media and mobile Internet both played increasing roles as sources of political information in 2014.