How Interactive Maps Change the Ways United States Voters Get Electoral Information
Interactive electoral maps are being used widely on voting departments and media websites as a customer-service tool to help voters find related information online. Interactive electoral map makes it very quick and easy for voters to locate polling locations, voting precincts, districts and running candidates.
A typical interactive electoral map allows voters to locate their desired address and then click on the map at that location to extract all the voting information for that specific address, such as the elected officials and list of voter precincts in a county or congressional district. Interactive map can also be organized into layers that can be turned on or off as needed for improved viewing, possible layers could include voter precincts, districts (fire, school, political, etc.), property lines, city boundaries, or even aerial photography. The interactive maps helps to educate the public geographical information about their counties and state, and provide information about their officials and candidates.
During the US presidential election in recent years, many media websites, including TV and Newspaper websites, used interactive maps to display and track the election results. A typical interactive electoral map usually shows likely Republican states in red and likely Democratic states in blue, based on the vote in previous year. States in which the popular vote was within a small percentage are gray and are denoted as battleground states. Mousing over a state will show the popular vote for that state for the last few elections. Visitors could even click on the remaining states as the voting goes to make their predictions based on opinion and exit polls, and see who reaches the 270 electoral votes first.
Because of its dynamic nature, interactive map can also be used for projection purposes. For example, as the electoral votes for many states will change based on the outcome of the 2010 Census - a projected map can be created based on Census Bureau estimates.
Aside from the ease and convenient use of interactive voting precinct maps, voters, local and state officials, as well as website owners can make use of the other benefits that can be derived with the using of interactive maps. State, county or local election offices can make use of interactive maps as part of their election management infrastructure to better serve the public.
Interactive maps makes it possible to combine an electoral map for election with historical maps, information for all prior elections, as well as latest projections to plot out the next election. It helps to educate audience, and could play an integral role in elections of all types.