By Brett Molina, USA TODAY
Location-based service Foursquare is throwing its hat into the 2012 election with a new app aimed at encouraging users to vote.
The I Voted app will allow users to find their local polling station on Election Day and "check-in" to signal they've cast their vote. App users must have a primary Foursquare account to use the service.
"Our goal is to motivate people to vote by providing useful and interesting information, both before Election Day and on November 6," says Foursquare's Nina Yiamsamatha, who managed the app project.
I Voted also offers information on key issues within a user's state as well as what will appear on their ballot. On Nov. 6, users can visit election.foursquare.com to watch Americans vote.
"(The site) will feature a visualization of Americans checking in and voting in real time across the country, with state-by-state breakdowns," says Yiamsamatha. "So you could see how many women voted in Ohio, or the peak time people checked in to the polls in Florida."
The app is powered by Google's Civic Information API, which allows developers to display information such as polling place locations, details on the candidates, and other official election information.
Foursquare has 25 million global users, half of which live in the United States, says Yiamsamatha.
"We'll also be giving away a limited edition badge when you check in at the polls on November 6," she says. "Like the 'I Voted' sticker, our virtual equivalent is a great social reminder to vote."