CORRECTED: Turns out I was wrong about Google giving incorrect polling places. There are two tabs: “Vote Early” and “Vote on Election Day.” I have never voted early in my life and would never even consider it, so it never occurred to me. But that’s what it is. The “Vote Early” tab shows a location 5 miles away; the “Vote on Election Day” tab is correct. I’m still fairly pissed at Google; this information needs to be clearer. But whatever. I’m still switching to Bing, so I’m the one who really suffers.
Today, Google is offering to tell me where I vote, then giving me a polling place that is completely wrong. In fact, it’s about 5 miles away from my apartment, when the real polling place is ONE BLOCK AWAY FROM ME. If I were a more credulous voter, and a less dedicated one, and less generally invested in our dumb-ass political process, I might drive there on Election Day and be so fed up after waiting in line that I ended up not voting after all. On the Google results, there is no button that says “THIS IS WRONG” and allows me to correct it.
To compound things, it also tells me the polling place closes at 5pm. The real polling place, walking distance from me, closes at 8pm.
I am about as pissed as I have ever been at a tech company, and that’s saying something. If I were a conspiracy-minded weirdo, I would be convinced that Google is working for “Them.”
In general, Google, if you’re going to completely screw up a service, don’t offer it. Doing so is bad enough. But in this case, in an election, by giving me an incorrect voting location you are actually undermining our democracy. Obviously, I assume it’s unintentional; I just don’t care. Google, I cannot think of anything that could possibly disgust me more. I’m so serious about this, I’m actually considering switching to Bing.