This morning while I was waiting in line to vote at my local polling station in Boston, I pulled out my phone to see if the voting booth was already established as a checkin point on foursquare. Low and behold – it was! What’s more, not only was I able to checkin, but I also received a badge, which then directed me to elections.foursquare.com.
If you haven’t heard the buzz yet, let me catch you up to speed. Foursquare recently partnered with Rock the Vote, Pew Trusts, Google, Voting Information Project, Engage, Twitter Vote Report, and Jess3 to create a real-time, interactive map that keeps track of voting action around the country during today’s election. Users gain access to live data and stats like total number of checkins by state and nationwide, percentage of male versus female voters, and number of different venues checked into.
Even Alaska and Hawaii are getting in on the action with 11 and 8 checkins respectively. But New York is clearly in the front at 2287 checkins, with California in a close second at 1579 checkins – granted, New York did have a few hour lead due to the time difference. My vote counted amongst the other Massachusetts foursquare checkins, giving us 506 checkins so far (NOTE: all #’s pulled from around 2pm EST and subject to change).
Even those voting by absentee ballot and mail can participate by shouting “I Voted!” when they checkin somewhere. If you put the hashtag #IVoted in your tweets you’ll also get a special badge on Twitter!
According to foursquare’s blog, encouraging real-world action is a big part of their mission. With badges and other incentives, they try to encourage people to live better by eating healthy and working out for example. And now, with elections.foursquare.com, they’ve undertaken more of a civic duty, trying to incentivize people to get to the polls and vote! This seems like a worthwhile initiative and hopefully it’s having some impact on voter turnout.
Have you voted yet?