Facebook wants you to vote in tomorrow’s election. Just in the nick time, the social network launched a polling place locator on the U.S. politics page. Take a gander at the application and you see a simple embedding of Google’s poll finder. At least it’s the thought that counts.
But I’m calling it a classic example of what happens when you leave things to the last minute. Had this launched a couple of weeks ago, there would have been time to debug it; that ought to include an assessment of whether to use Google’s poll finder or find something more effective. This sort of thing is not rocket science, and even a surge in traffic can’t explain the following glitch. When I keyed in my address, the response was:
We were unable to locate this voting place on the map. Please check with your election officials for the exact address.
The nearest polling location is no mystery: the information has been available on SFGov.com for years. You can find your own voting destination on your nearest municipal government website. Perhaps Facebook ought to link to other, proven voting locators. Bugs can seriously undermine any attempt to motivate voters at the last minute. I hope Facebook considers this application a work in progress and improves upon it for future elections.
Despite the bugs, I’m sure there are a few polls that can actually be discovered through the page and there should by no means be any reason to not vote. If you haven’t found your polling location, go check out the US Politics page and show up to vote tomorrow!