Five ways tech is helping the US vote for its next President

 
Lynsey Barber
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Tech comapnies are helping voter turnout (Source: Getty)

Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Whichever way the US goes, voters are being given a helping hand by technology.

The hotly contested race for the White House is nearly over, but the likes of Google and Uber have joined the final push to get millions of Americans out to vote. Every little helps, after all.

1. Google Doodle

It may seem like just a simple drawing providing brief amusement, but the power of the Google Doodle lies in its ability to reach millions of people. And for three days, the animation is an election one, guiding voters to a tool showing where their nearest voting location is.

2. Free rides (and directions)

No such thing as a free ride? Think again. Ride hailing apps Uber and Lyft are giving voters in Pennsylvania - one of a handful of battleground states - up to $15 off rides to and from the ballot box with My Ride to Vote, a coalition of organisations.

Uber is also notifying passengers where their nearest location for voting is in the app, with some help from Google.

"Given the important decision people around the country will make on 8 November, we wanted to make getting to and from your polling place easier than ever," the company said in a blog post.

3. Time off

Forget ping pong tables and bean bags... the latest tech company trend is giving staff time off, some even a whole day, to ensure everyone makes it to the ballot box. There's no excuse for anyone working at more than 300 tech companies for not turning out - from larger firms such as Spotify and Square to, smaller ones like mattress startup Casper and media company Thrillist.

4. Swipe left for politics

The many issues that have sprung up throughout campaigning (and there have been some, it's not all been mud slinging, honest) might not be clear to everyone. That's why Tinder hooked up with the group Rock the Vote to try and educate young people.

Instead of swiping to find a date, Tinder users were presented with Swipe the Vote - information on the major issues of the campaign - and also where their nearest poling place is.

And such is the global impact of the Presidential race, users in 15 countries around the world, not just the US, were asked to Swipe the Vote.

5. Vote swapping

It may sound crazy, but in the US it's perfectly acceptable to swap votes with someone. The way US politics works with an electoral college system, votes in some places count for more than others. That means if a voter is in a state where their candidate is almost certain not to win, say Clinton, they can swap that vote with someone in a more closely run state who wants to vote for a third party candidate but doesn't want Trump to win.

Several new platforms have popped up to facilitate this, Trumtraders.org, #NeverTrump are two of them.

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