Google, Facebook and Twitter Rock the Vote

As this tumultuous mid-term election comes to a head today, techie sites are out there pushing their users to vote.

With highly contested and sometimes overheated races across the country, today's election could shake up the political order. And companies like Google and Facebook are looking to help their users be part of the political process.

Facebook, for instance, is giving users over the age of 18 a reminder to vote at the top of their News Feed all day today. That reminder box also will contain a link to an application, dubbed the Facebook Polling Place Locator , which is designed to help users find out where they need to go to vote.

At the same time, Facebook is enabling users to feature an "I Voted" button on their walls and the news feeds of their friends. As of 12:10 p.m. EDT today more than 3 million people had already clicked the "I Voted" button. In the 2008 national election, 5.4 million people clicked the "I Voted" button.

"As election results start streaming in, ABC News and Facebook will broadcast a live town hall from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, starting at 7 p.m. EDT," Facebook noted on its site today. Users also can follow status updates, photos and results on the U.S. Politics on Facebook page, it added.

And Google isn't being left out of the political mix.

Google is also helping users find heir polling place. Although Google.com doesn't feature a special election day doodle, users can search for "polling place" or "where to vote"in a special search box to help them more easily find information on local candidates, polling places and political offices.

Google also created a mobile election-centric landing page for users on the go.

Foursquare and Twitter also are throwing their hats into the ring today.

Foursquare has an "I Voted" badge for users who check in at a polling place, and Twitter made #ivoted the official voting hashtag, while users also can use the hashtag #votereport to tweet about their election experience today.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin , or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com .

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