Google today announced the launch of a new tool as part of its elections portal offering google.co.in/elections, called Know Your Candidates. The new tool will allow citizens to get easy access to relevant information about political candidates contesting from their constituency and their incumbent Member of Parliament. This tool integrates publicly available information sourced from Indian organisations such as the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), PRS Legislative Research and Liberty Institute India.
The tool will provide valuable information for each sitting Lok Sabha MP and contesting candidates such as their disclosed educational background, financial details and social media presence (wherever available) including video bios of the candidates provided by Ping networks. Mapped onto Google Maps interface, citizens will be able to find the information by using pin codes of their area or by zooming on their locality on the map. The tool will be updated regularly to provide information about all candidates as they get finalised and will be made available at least a week before the voting day in each constituency.
Screengrab of Google's new election tool.
Prof. Trilochan Sastry, a founding member of ADR applauded this launch saying,We are delighted to collaborate with Google to launch this tool, which will help our concerted effort to disseminate to the citizens of India the background information of the candidates contesting the Lok Sabha 2014 elections that will enable them to make an informed choice during voting.
Commenting on the launch, Rajan Anandan, VP and Managing Director of Google India, said, In the last five months, we have made a concerted effort to provide our users a one stop destination for all their information needs for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. With the launch of this tool, we have added all the important information of the contesting candidates with the help of groups such as ADR and PRS Legislative Research who have been doing a stellar job of collating all the important information about the candidates.
The Google Elections Hub is an online hub for elections-related news and information created to help 800 million Indian voters stay informed and updated about the elections. The site also includes features such as elections related news videos, search trends, G+ Hangout Series, and an interactive pledge to vote campaign.