The election season is officially off and running, marked by the end of the summer and the beginning of political conventions. Election Day, typically held on the first Tuesday of November, falls on November 6th this year giving campaigns locally and nationally just over two months to pitch their platforms and excite voters.
Over the past ten or so years, every election campaign cycle has seen an exponential increase in technology usage. Technology has acted as a progressively more important communications medium within the election process and is used in a variety of ways, most notably to facilitate the type of two-way communication that candidates strive for.
Via technology, candidates are able to reach voters and vice versa, encouraging reciprocal accessibility and enabling more grassroots conversations. Pollsters, market researchers and reporters utilize technology to easily communicate with candidates and constituents in rapid and efficient ways, thereby disseminating the news promptly and without pause.
So what types of technology are going to be at the forefront of this election season? There are myriad examples of new and groundbreaking applications that will be critical for voters and candidates alike. Some of the more interesting technologies are explored below.
Per ABC News, Google has launched an Online Voter Guide, “a portal that allows Google users to register to vote easily.” In addition to voter registration, the application includes features like voting by mail, signing up for emails and texts regarding the election and offering users a portal to sign up for related updates. Google also operates a YouTube Elections Hub and a Google Politics & Elections site.
Facebook, never to be outdone, have released a tool that enables users to track what they call “real-time election buzz.” Per SFGate, the online tool “shows the number of people talking about the U.S. presidential and vice presidential candidates on Facebook.” The page gives you a broad look at the trends throughout the country and you can also sort the data by state, gender, age and by time.”
Mobile applications, already all the rage in the tech community, will also be vital during this election cycle. USNews has compiled a list of the some of the interesting options available, and among them are Polltracker (provides polling data from a variety of polls locally and nationally), Politifact (acts as a fact-checker on statements and speeches made by candidates and elected leaders) and the Super PAC app (works similarly to SoundHound or Shazam, but instead of enabling users to point their phone towards music to identify a song it enables users to point their phone towards political advertisements and identify who is paying for political commercials).