Election 2012: The best use of text messaging in politics this year

Since all anyone seems to want to talk about today is tomorrow’s Presidential Election, and because there have been so many negative stories this election season about the misuse and abuse of text messaging by shadowy political operators, we’ve decided to offer up something that’s both topical and overwhelmingly positive. The best use of text messaging in politics this year: Nonpartisan SMS polling place lookup.

No matter who you’re supporting in tomorrow’s election, TextMarks encourages you to vote and make your voice heard. And to help, we’ve found a super cool SMS tool, built on Google’s Civic Info API, that provides a quick and easy way for most voters to find their polling location without having to navigate their state’s Secretary of State website, which, let’s face it, is probably difficult enough on a large screen laptop and would be virtually impossible with even the best Smartphone.

This SMS polling place lookup service, developed by Revolution Messaging in Washington DC, is free to use (normal SMS charges apply) and relatively painless. Just text LOC and your ADDRESS to 90975 and, almost instantly, you’ll receive a text message containing your polling location. Pretty awesome.

A quick word of caution from Google’s Public Policy and Elections team regarding states hit by Hurricane Sandy:

The Hurricane Sandy affected states of NY, CT, RI, NJ, MD and VA are still recovering, and we expect to see a number of hurricane-related polling place changes. Our data provider is working to collect and publish as many polling place changes as possible. Local election officials are currently focused on disaster recovery and administering the election on Tuesday. To the extent they have capacity to publish changed locations in a format we can use, our data provider is working to ensure we get that information and make it available to you.

Best of luck to whoever you’re supporting on November 6th. Whatever happens, let’s hope all Americans wake up November 7th ready to work together.

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