Top 20 election day Web sites and online tools

With these 20 sites, you'll stay informed and entertained on the day of the US election. Their specialties range from voting information and result monitoring to election humor.

Ready for election day? The Web is brimming with interactive tools--everything from widgets to mobile alerts--that can help you stay on top of the presidential vote and keep you informed, no matter where you go. We've compiled some of the best resources to take you through the election's end, whether you're seeking polling info, real-time results, or just a few laughs. Bookmark this page now, and you'll have all that you need, every step of the way.

Voting Information

Google Voter Info: This site offers an easy way to find your polling place. Type in your home address, and you'll get an interactive map in seconds. A mobile version is available too.

ACLU Voting Rights Guide: Stop by this site before voting and snag a printable card specific to your state. It'll give you polling hours, policies, and numbers to call in case you encounter a problem.

CNN Voter Hotline: At this site you can see an interactive state-by-state breakdown of polling problems as they occur. See how many calls are coming in from each county and what kinds of complaints are being lodged.

Ballotpedia: Get a simple breakdown of all the measures and initiatives on the ballot where you live. Click on your location, and you can see what the propositions are really about.

Glassbooth or USA Today Candidate Match Game: If you're still on the fence in regard to the presidential candidates, both of these sites can help you figure out which side better matches your beliefs.

Results Monitoring

MSNBC Results Widget: This tool delivers real-time results to your blog or social-network profile. Just set the options--you can choose to see specific states or a nationwide view--and you'll receive up-to-the-second returns where you want them.

CNN YourRaces: Customize your own tracking tool with any number of races, then watch the results in real time through CNN's site. The service is also available via CNN's mobile interface.

AOL Election Toolbar: Set up a toolbar at the top of your browser to see all the latest election headlines scrolling across your screen. It's available for both Internet Explorer and Firefox.

iDashboards: Starting November 4, this live dashboard will show real-time results from across the country. Hover your mouse over any state to see its returns.

NYT SMS Results: The New York Times is offering free text-based alerts for election night. Text NEWSALERTS to 698698 to get national results, or text ELECTIONS followed by your zip code (e.g., ELECTIONS 90210) to 698698 to obtain state-specific updates. (Standard text-messaging rates from your carrier will apply.)

Interactive Analysis

YouTube VideoYourVote: Send in a video clip of your voting experience, and see what's happening to other voters across the country, too. You can sort clips to watch videos showing voter intimidation, polling-place problems, or just the general excitement of the day.

We Op-Ed: At this open community of political discussion and debate, you can see what citizens are saying on both sides, and add your voice to the mix.

SocialMedian: Get all sorts of election-focused social content in one central location. SocialMedian aggregates conversations from blogs, Twitter posts, and YouTube videos to create a single space for finding and filtering the Internet's hottest election topics at any moment.

Microsoft Political Streams: Using this slightly more mainstream news aggregation service, you can see separated news and blog posts related to politics, updated in real time.

Twitter Election: See unfiltered updates from Twitter users worldwide. Watch your screen fill up with short summaries and rants tapped out by poll watchers from coast to coast.

Election Humor

Indecision 2008: Turn to Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and your other favorite Comedy Central stars for humorous election coverage. Interactive chat rooms await, along with live blogs by comedians such as Patton Oswalt, scheduled to start posting at 7:30 Eastern on Tuesday night.

The Onion: The always-amusing satire site promises live election coverage November 4 and 5, presumably from its "War for the White House Bunker." Be sure to see what these crazy correspondents have come up with.

SNL Elections 2008: The crew of Saturday Night Live has plenty to keep you busy at its online headquarters. You'll find news stories, games, and--of course--all of your favorite moments from the show's political spoofs.

Campaign Humor Roundup: Here you'll find an extensive compilation of everything related to campaign humor. Browse through the funniest cartoons, viral videos, candidate gaffes, and late-night moments, all on one page.

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JR Raphael

PC World (US online)

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