It’s July 2nd, today we head to the polls for the Australian Federal election. By the end of the day we may have a new Prime Minister, or the same one as yesterday. Either way, you need to cast your vote (if you haven’t pre-polled) and there’s a number of places you can go to find your nearest polling place.
Australian Electoral Commission
The obvious place is the Australian Electoral Commission, who are responsible for conducting federal elections and basically anything to do with the underlying mechanics of running the election. They have a great website chock full of information about where to go to vote, who is a candidate in your area and even what will happen if you don’t vote. You can use either mobile or their desktop site, either is pretty good.
Once the polls close this afternoon, the AEC website will be the place to get up to date information on vote counting, results and more.
Google is also interested in helping you find both data on the election with their site g.co/ausvotes – you’ll note they’re linking to it from google.com.au today. The site includes a range of helpful tools to assist you this election cycle including details of every electorate boundary, which candidates are running on your seat, where to find local polling booths and of course quick directions from home to the polls and back again.
Once the counting kicks off, Google will be updating the maps live with information from the Australian electoral Commission including, % of votes counted and how each party is polling across all 150 seats.
Twitter wants to help you find your local polling place as well as your mandatory democracy/freedom sausage/bacon & egg roll/cake – obviously one of the best parts of your election day routine.
Twitter has set up a Twitter bot to automatically respond to tweets to @auspolling with the hashtag #AusVotes with your closest polling place. The #AusVotes hashtag is getting you an exclusive Emoji on Twitter today.For bonus points you can include emoji 🍰 or ♿️ for information on where the cake/sausage sizzles are registered and which are wheelchair accessible.
You need to have your location services enabled and you can only do it from mobile, but the bot is quite happy to remind you of this if you tweet without location services enabled.
— AusPolling (@auspolling) July 1, 2016
So, if Twitter is your social pipe, load up the Twitter app and tweet away to get your closest polling place.
Facebook is also doing something for the Election. If you load up the site in your web browser you’ll see a box at the top giving you the option to declare you’re voting in today’s election.
The More Information button will link you to the AEC website, while the I`m a Voter button will let you share a status with links to the AEC included in the status which should hopefully help people find a polling place.
Food – SnagVotes or Democracy Sausage
The customary sausage sizzle at your polling place isn’t a given, in fact I had to go to two other polling places last election to find one. To avoid that unfortunate mess, there’s two websites that want to connect you with the right place for you to cast you vote, and when we say right, we mean the one with a BBQ or Cake stall. Democracy sausage and Snagvotes are the sites and both will be able to determine which polling booth is hosting sausage sizzles or bake stands.
The major difference seems to be under the hood here with Democracy Sausage utilising OpenMaps for their map technology, while SnagVotes uses Google Maps. Either way they both get you to a satisfying feed where you can cast your vote.
Whichever way you decide to go this election, make sure you cast your vote, pick up a snag and enjoy the rest of the day.