Apps for Voting

Jan 13, 2012
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It’s getting closer and closer to the time to vote for those who do. If you’re like most Americans you’re overwhelmed by your choices, the claims vs the facts and just the sheer amount of advertising. These apps will help you cut through the jargon and get to what matters.

Candidates

I think the thing I like most about this app is that while it will help you find a candidate that matches your most important issues (if one does) it also helps drive home the idea that most of us are forced to vote on one or two important issues. Which one idea matters to you the most? Oh, wait, lots of things matter? Well go ahead and select the things that matter the most to you and this app will do it’s best to find you a candidate, assuming there is one that supports the same things you do.

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America Votes

Not a super exciting app unless you’re a big government geek. Basically this app counts down to the next time you vote. It will also send you quotes and the like to inspire you to actually vote when the time comes. To me it also might be a great way to remind yourself that there’s only this much longer until all those obnoxious political ads are gone from your mailbox and TV!

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Hello Washington

Well, OK, you can’t actually vote in an election with your phone (just yet) but you can contact your senator, representative or even the president and let them know how you’d like them to vote. This app turns that “just call your senator” request from something you’ll never remember to something you can do, right now. The app gives you the biographical information on the president, vice president, senators and representatives as well as letting you know what bills are on the floor of the senate and the house each week. There’s a forum section to let you discuss, debate and argue about different political issues and a news feed that aggregates any house or senate voting news as it’s posted. Best yet though each biography lists the contact information for the person in question, their address, phone number and even a write to me button which will generate an email from one of your accounts to the politician in question. No longer do you have to remember to bother them about a bill or something on the floor. You can do it right from your phone right when you think about it. If this app had local political information it would easily receive the 5 bar award. Political savvy at your fingertips all for less then $2.

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Real Time Congress

Great app to see what they’re up to right now. Are the candidates claiming one thing but voting another? This app will let you know.

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Visible Vote Mobile

It’s a little annoying that this app asks a bunch of questions about your personal information including your political party (but will work without that info). It’s not your business app. It just isn’t.
That said this app lets you keep in touch with your friends and others and help look at the issues in question through a social lense. I’m honestly not sure if I like that or not. I’d like to see people making decisions based on what they think, not what their friends thing. But then we don’t all have time to look over every law do we? Sometimes our friends whom we trust to make good decisions know more than we do about a topic so sharing this way can be very helpful.

To this end you can rate your approval for a legislator, vote on issues and compare your vote to that of a legislator, research the different bills you’re “voting” on and even write to your legislator about a specific issue. This app is only for federal government so it’s lacking on state issues but that said it is a much bigger and more interesting app than most of the other government apps out there. Very fun to play with if you’re a government geek and does a bit better at helping you figure out your thoughts than most applications.

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