Microsoft to Launch Election Hub on X-Box Live

By Devon Glenn 

Microsoft has announced the launch of “Election 2012 on Xbox LIVE,” an interactive voting experience that merges the two worlds of video games and real-life American politics into one Xbox 360 console. Starting August 27, voters will be able to read up on the candidates and the issues, make an informed decision about the future of our country, register to vote, and then go back to playing “Call of Duty.”

Actually, it sounds convenient. The software company has partnered with nonpartisan election information hub Face the Facts USA, the voting registration platform Rock the Vote, and live daily polling site YouGov to make the experience more interactive for the X-Box audience, who will obviously be holding controllers. will also provide news updates and expert commentary leading up to the election.

In the spirit of President Obama’s Google+ Hangouts, Microsoft has also partnered with the National Journal and The Atlantic to host town halls for younger voters called “Conversations with the Next Generation,” which will take place in Tampa, FL on August 29 and Charlotte, NC on September 5. Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and NBC reporter Chuck Todd will moderate panel discussions, keynote speeches, and Q&As with Washington’s (and MTV’s) finest. The Young Democrats of America and the Young Republican National Federation will be on hand to offer their perspective on the issues.

Xbox learned from a StrategyOne survey of 1,678 Xbox LIVE households between June 19 to July 3, 2012 that 40 percent of players are swing voters who say that they follow news about politics and public policy at least once a week. Of these voters, 23 percent follow the news daily and 39 percent watch the programming with others.

“Technology has been a transformative force in politics during recent years,” said Fred Humphries, vice president of government affairs at Microsoft in a statement. “The launch of the Election 2012 Hub on Xbox LIVE marks another exciting moment of change. This platform will innovate how some voters engage in the political process, and it provides greater access to valuable information such as the perspectives of youth at our town halls, newscasts and voter registrations. By bringing the elections directly into the home through this Xbox platform, we hope to encourage greater participation in the democratic process this fall.”

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