More so than any other year, the 2012 election campaigns have been bombarding voters with endless advertisements and streams of potentially biased information. Keeping up with the surplus of facts about this year’s election is overwhelming, especially from within the Dartmouth bubble. Fortunately, several smartphone apps have been created to streamline and verify information from campaigns, hoping to generate more informed voters come Nov. 6.
Here’s a list of free apps available for download on iTunes that greatly simplify the election process:
SuperPACApp: Created by Dan Siegel and Jennifer Hollett, this app works like a Shazam for political ads. You hold it up to the television while a presidential advertisement is playing, and the app will identify the ad and how it was funded. It can connect you to third party outlets, such as PolitiFact and FactCheck.org, that will verify the claims made in the advertisement. The app also gives the user the option to rate the ad and see how others across the country rated it.Courtesy of Glassy Media
The app is especially relevant to this year’s election, since this is the first one with political action committees with the ability to raise unrestricted amounts of money for candidates, or super PACs. This has resulted in an excess of television advertisements that are not always factually accurate. The goal of the app is to put power in the voters’ hands, instantaneously giving them information that may otherwise take three hours to obtain, Siegel said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
“We’re at the early stages of seeing technology as being thought of as a very powerful tool for the voters – something the voters can use to cut through the noise,” Siegel said.
Settle It!: Created by Politifact, this app is intended to assist the passionate debater frustrated in the middle of a political argument. The user can search the Politifact database by subject, name, or keyword and use these Truth-O-Meter ratings to learn about the accuracies of a claim. The app also features the Politifact Challenge, in which the user guesses the truth of various political statements. The app is designed to clarify many circulating claims created by both voters and politicians.
Courtesy of mashable.com
Election 2012: This New York Times app organizes each day’s political stories, streamlining the user’s search for relevant information about the election. It also includes polling numbers, state-by-state projections, biographies of the candidates, and opinion pieces concerning the election. The only downside to this app is that not all content is available to those without a Times subscription.
AdHawk: Similar to SuperPAC, this app, produced by the Sunlight Foundation, provides information about the funding of political ad campaigns.Courtesy of appsafari.com
Polltracker: This app breaks down the most recent voting patterns of all congressional races and the presidential election by various demographics and voting groups. It also offers push notifications that alert the user of important updates in poll numbers.
Election-2012: Created by Hearst Television, this app features an assortment of news pieces about the election, interviews, candidate stances, fact checking, multimedia content, and a local voters guide.
Tags: Emma Moley, politics, technology