Back in April, I got a call from the elections director at the League of Women Voters, the nonpartisan group that encourages informed and active civic participation. (And it's not just for women, btw.) She told me that with the growing number of young first-time voters basically living online, there was a real need for an all-you-can-eat voter information guide on the Internet. They planned to build it, but how could they reach critical mass to turn those newbie voters onto it?
Motivating and educating voters is one of my passions. Prior to the 2004 presidential election, the Yahoo! for Good team partnered with Norman Lear's nonpartisan Declare Yourself to register more then 1 million new young voters. Supporting the League of Women Voters and their request was a no-brainer for the critical upcoming mid-term elections.
So Yahoo! for Good mobilized to pull together resources from across our network to support the launch of Vote411.org. The site is designed to arm voters with everything from candidate positions to ID requirements for voting in each state to rules for absentee and overseas voters. Possibly the coolest feature is a polling locator tool for all 50 states — the first national, centralized effort to address what league members report is the most confusing part about voting. You've been there, right? It's the first Tuesday morning of November and you have no idea where to go to pull that lever (or poke that chad). Some states had web sites, others had nothing or outdated information. Voters will never wander aimlessly again.
Yahoo! is hosting the site to support traffic from millions of voters, linking to it from our front page and our Yahoo! News Full Coverage elections page, integrating Yahoo! Maps with polling information for some states, and providing the League with pro bono Yahoo! Search Marketing keyword matches.
We've done our part, now go do yours. Vote tomorrow!