Just as they did for the mid-term elections of 2010, Foursquare is planning to offer a real-time view of users checking in at the polls and is encouraging people to vote with a new iVoted badge. They’ve also announced a new connected app featuring local election information.
Foursquare users will be able to unlock the “I Voted” badge simply by checking in at a polling place or by including the #ivoted hashtag along with any check-in on Tuesday. That way users are covered whether they’ve voted early, absentee or at the actual polling place.
Once users connect the “I Voted” app to their accounts they’ll receive detailed local information from the Google Civic Information API. The information will appear as a link on the post check-in screen, and features a link to find their polling place, identification information voters will need to bring with them and a breakdown of all the races and candidates that will appear on the ballot.
Regarding the map that will appear at election.foursquare.com, Foursquare says:
See what’s happening, in real time. Head to election.foursquare.com to watch America vote in real time and see what they’re saying at the polls. Connect the app and sharing your check-in on Twitter, and we’ll include your profile photo, first name, and comment.
Foursquare is again playing a leading role among social networks in encouraging users to vote and providing the information the need to do so. The connected app platform is a perfect way to spread such localized information in a way that’s easy for users to access and understand. Badges have been shown to encourage users to take certain actions that might not otherwise, so once again offering a badge (even if it could conceivably be earned without actually voting) is a great way to encourage voting.
What do you think of Foursquare’s efforts?