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Social media midterm election coverage plays big

Facebooklogo Twitter, Facebook, Google and Foursquare all did their bit for democracy Tuesday with election-themed widgets and services appearing on their pages.

Facebook featured an online vote counter, which appears at the top of a user’s feed and allows users to click to say they voted, which earns them an “I voted” badge they can use a profile picture.

As of 11 a.m. PDT, the counter had been clicked more than 4 million times. It also includes a link to a Google-driven polling-center locator service.  Facebook’s U.S. politics page featured the widget prominently alongside updates from politicians’ feeds.

Twitter, meanwhile, urged tweeters to use the #votereport hashtag to document their polling place experiences, which then will be collated at TwitterVoteReport.com (which also features Google-powered maps). Foursquare launched “I Voted” badges for users who check in at a polling center.

Google included a simple link on its homepage to its locator-maps service for users to find their local polling stations. Google on Tuesday also released a list of the most searched politicians in the run-up to Tuesday’s vote. California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman topped results for top search in the month before the election, with Nevada Sen. Harry Reid second and Kentucky GOP Senate candidate  Rand Paul third.

And for some real election hoopla, basketball fans can play their favorite politician on the NBA Jam video game from EA Sports -- where every candidate for House, Senate or governor has an outside shot.

To unlock your politicians, turn on the game, and from the front end menu (the "Press A to Start" screen), input the following:

Democrats: Press left on the directional pad 13 times, then press +

Republicans: Press right on the directional pad 13 times, then press +


-- Craig Howie

Cick here for slam-dunk midterm election coverage and Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot or @craighowieLAT. Our Facebook Like page is over here. Also available on Kindle now with a two-week free trial.

Photos: California heads to the polls

Photos: The nation heads to the polls

To unlock the teams, turn on the game, and from the front end menu (the "Press A to Start" screen), input the following:

Democrats: Press left on the directional pad 13 times, then press +

Republicans: Press right on the directional pad 13 times, then press +
 
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Get out and Vote.

STOP THE INSANITY

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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