Foursquare announces Election Day 'check ins' at polling locations

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On Thursday, Foursquare announced a new "I voted" app designed in cooperation with Rock the Vote, the Pew Trusts, Google, the Voting Information Project, Engage DC, the Twitter Vote Report, and Jess3.

The app, located at election.foursquare.com, connects with the user's existing Foursquare account locate their polling location, local voter ID requirements and a list of the candidates and propositions that will be on the ballot there.

The payoff will happen on Nov. 6, when users can check in for an "I voted" badge and watch other users check in at polling locations across the country on the website in real time. The map will also provide unique features like time and gender breakdowns, as well as public tweets about voting, according to Foursquare. alt

The information won't work as well for absentee voters who are not near their voting location, but Foursquare is not leaving them out. Absentee or early voters can still get the "I voted" badge by including “#iVoted” in any check in at a location in the U.S. on Nov. 6, Foursquare said.

Facebook is also urging users to authorize their "I voted" app — launched in August — to appear on their timelines on Election Day. The campaigns for Mitt Romney and President Obama both have Facebook-based voting applications, as well, that will show off users' commitment to vote to their Facebook friends.

A study published this year by researchers at the University of California in San Diego confirmed that online peer pressure, such as political messages shared by friends on Facebook, has a strong influence on getting out the vote. The study found that an average of four additional voters were mobilized for every Facebook user who shared the fact they voted with their friends. 

Application screenshot courtesy of Foursquare.


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