Google adds Spanish-language voting guides to Search

Google is continuing its push to get more Americans registered to vote ahead of the upcoming presidential elections by expanding its voter information guides in Google Search to Spanish. While the company was already providing web searchers with details on how to get registered and how to vote, based on your current location, those guides were only triggered by searches for English phrases and keywords.

Now, Google Search users who query things like “inscribirse para votar” or “como votar,” for example, will also see the same information, translated into Spanish. This includes the customized information for your state, as determined by your device’s location when searching. That means you’ll see things like registration guidelines for your state, and when your polls open and close, rather than more general voter information.

In addition, the search feature will help Google users figure out how to get registered for early voting or to for voting by mail.


The company is looping in YouTube in the voting efforts, too, spotlighting videos from well-known YouTube stars and creators as part of YouTube’s vote campaign, #voteIRL. There’s a “Register to Vote” playlist, as well, which is meant to show how quick you can get registered by comparing the 1 minute, 34 second registration process to other tasks and activities, again as demoed by YouTube stars and celebs.

Google says it’s focusing on getting more people registered because studies show that the majority of registered voters end up making it to the polls to vote — 86 percent of registered voters also voted in the November 2012 election, for example, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Of course, expanding this voter information to the Spanish language is important in this historic election, where Hispanic voters — who, as a whole, support Clinton over Trump — have the power to sway the election’s results if they show up at the polls in large numbers.

But, according to data from Pew Research, only about half of all Latinos (49 percent) say they are “absolutely certain” they are registered to vote. That compares with 69 percent of blacks and 80 percent of whites, who say the same. By injecting Google Search with Spanish-language instructions on getting registered, voting requirements and voting days and hours, Google could potentially have an impact on the vote just by including this information in Search.