Badges for Ballots: Election 2012 for the digitally inclined


After a seemingly endless political season, the elections are finally here, and just as techies helped helpedhackthe debates, they’re also helping hack the elections — in a good way (mostly).

For those few undecided voters left who are single-issues voters with a technical bent, TechCrunch has launched a Political Leaderboard that handily serves up the best and worst legislators based on their tech-friendliness.

Although as Saturday Night Live so ably points out, that still might not answer the pressing questions undecided voters have.

As you head to the polls, Facebook wants to encourage you to encourage others to join you, and has launched a Vote With Friends feature, which will also track which of your friends actually hit the voting booths, and which didn’t.


And if those friends complain about actually getting to the polling station, car service darling Uber is once again to the rescue, offering first time Uber customers free Black Car rides, for trips up to $20.12, when traveling to or from polling stations.

Once you’re there and have done the deed, Foursquare offers up an I Voted Map with a special badge, which will also track check-ins across America in real-time. More locally, The Boston Globe will also have its own election map, tracking tweets that include the #MAVote hashtag (I’ll link to it when it’s live tomorrow).

And finally, if you’d like to meet up with hacking-minded people IRL for the election, the Campaign for Digital Fourth Amendment Rights is holding an election potluck at the Cambridge Innovation Center.

If you know other hacker-friendly election night gatherings or better ways to follow — and monitor — the election, let me know via email at or on Twitter at @HiveBoston.

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