Interactive election maps are being used widely on government and media websites as a simple yet effective tool to help voters find related information online. Interactive election map makes it very quick and easy for voters to locate polling locations, take overview of his polling districts or pretincts, and the visualization of opinion polls and election results.
A typical interactive election 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 candidates of that district, and list of polling districts. Interactive map can also be organized into layers that can be turned on or off as needed for improved viewing, possible layers could include 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 or boroughs, and provide information about their current officials, candidates and the political party holding the position.
During the UK General 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 election map usually shows different parties in their respective colors, such as the Conservatives in Blue and the Labours in red, based on the vote in previous year. Voting districts in which the popular vote was within a small percentage are gray and are denoted as battleground states. Mousing over a district will show the popular vote and previous incumbent for that district for the last few elections. Visitors could even click on the remaining districts as the voting goes to make their predictions and see which party could get half of the parliament seats
Because of its dynamic nature, interactive map can also be used for projection purposes. For example, exit poll or opinion poll to project which party would ultimately win over half of the parliament.
Aside from the ease and convenient use of interactive voting maps, voters, local and goverment 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 election map 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.