As we approach the US election on November 3, we’re helping voters access authoritative information about the election, enhancing our efforts around election security and transparency, and connecting people to the democratic process. We wanted to provide an update on our work.
Helping voters access authoritative information
We just launched two features in Google Search with detailed information about how to register and how to vote. We know election deadlines and requirements vary by state, so no matter where you live, you can search for “how to register to vote”—and you’ll find information about voter registration in your state. That includes deadlines, registration options, and an easy way to check the status of your registration.
When you search for “how to vote,” you’ll find details about how you can vote in your state—such as ID requirements, registration and voting deadlines, and guidance for different means of voting, like in person or mail. We work with non-partisan, third-party data partners, such as Democracy Works, which aggregates official data directly from state and county election administrators, and we link to your state government’s official website for more information.
Enhancing election security and transparency
As we’ve detailed, we’re making a very significant investment in election security. Our Threat Analysis Group (TAG) and our Trust and Safety teams work together to identify and prevent government-backed attacks against Google and our users. The Threat Analysis Group has flagged phishing attempts we’ve identified against campaigns and continues to share regular updates about actions we take against coordinated influence campaigns on our platforms.
To stay ahead of threats, we meet regularly with government agencies responsible for election integrity and other technology companies to discuss trends. As we reiterated yesterday, this coordination is critical and will continue through the election.
We’ve seen incredible engagement in our election security trainings with USC’s Annenberg School. In fact, the nonpartisan trainers have already trained over 3,000 campaigns and election officials on how to prevent digital attacks, phishing campaigns and hacking attempts—and they plan to complete sessions in all 50 states by September.
Additionally, to help people involved in campaigns, we recently launched enhanced security for Google accounts to complement our Advanced Protection Program, offering additional safeguards for G Suite and Gmail users during the election season. People can easily self-nominate to receive additional security checks for active threats and suspicious activity, like hacking and phishing.
Last year, we introduced new policies for election ads and limited the ways political campaigns can target their ads—taking more steps to eliminate micro-targeting of voters. To build on these efforts, we recently expanded our policies - such as prohibiting ads that disseminate illegally obtained materials. We also enforce policies to prohibit content on our platforms that undermines trust in the democratic process, like calls to participate in voter fraud or false claims around the U.S. census or election results. We’re also updating our Political Ads Transparency Report to include more information about the election ads that run on our platform, new ways to sort campaign spending, and more frequent updates—giving people detailed insight into the political ads that run on Google and YouTube.
Connecting people to the democratic process
With both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions set to be virtual, we want to make sure you can still follow these historic events at home. You can watch next week’s Democratic National Convention live on YouTube, and you can tune in to the Republican National Convention on YouTube the following week. This continues our longstanding tradition of live-streaming major political events—including State of the Union addresses, debates and conventions. YouTube aims to keep you virtually connected to the political activities this election season, which you can read more about here.
We’ll also be updating our 2020 Elections experience on Google News, to include extensive coverage of major issues, live streams of major events, and reminders of registration and voting timelines.
As we approach November’s election, we will continue to ensure that all of our products are built -- and our policies are enforced—in a fair, objective, and nonpartisan way, without regard to political ideology. Our platforms have empowered people and organizations from across the political spectrum, giving them a voice and new ways to reach their audiences. We’ll continue to keep you updated on all of our work to support the 2020 U.S. election and other elections around the world.