Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

In all democracies around the world, it’s the people’s right to vote that ultimately determines the outcome of an election.

An informed citizenry is not only desirable from a social standpoint, but it’s also beneficial from a personal point of view.

By staying on top of the latest election and candidate developments, you’ll become a more informed voter and member of society. Knowing the intricacies of candidates’ platforms and the key changes they’d like to make in the country will also help you hold informed political conversations with others when the election really starts to heat up.

To help you stay on top of 2016’s presidential election developments, we’ve compiled the following six resources.

Note: Neither the writer nor MakeUseOf is advocating for any political party in writing this article. All resources listed are given as information outlets only.

270toWin (Web, iPad)

270toWin app

Ads by Google

This is much more than a place to make predictions for the 2016 election, though you can do that here, too. 270toWin allows you to map which states are leaning toward the left, which are leaning toward the right and which are undecided.

It also provides a host of political news updates and information about Senate, House, and Governor Elections.

There’s also an iPad-exclusive app, which helps you find more information about your state’s political history as well as predicted electoral vote counts for 2020 and 2024, and a whole host of factual information. Most features of the app also work without an Internet connection.

Download: 270toWin for the iPad ($0.99)

Rock the Vote (Web)

rock the vote site

Aside from being the largest non-partisan and non-profit organization in the country, Rock the Vote keeps the millennial voting bloc informed and aims to facilitate a clear line of communication with the younger generation.

By visiting this site you’ll find everything you need to know about how to register to vote, how to check your registration status, where to find the nearest polling places come Election Day 5 Non-Partisan Web Tools for Election 2008 5 Non-Partisan Web Tools for Election 2008 With these websites you can keep informed about the election, know where the candidates stand on issues that matter to you, find where to vote in your area, and be a well informed voter. Read More and much more.

The site also includes its Tumblr blog, where you can find thought pieces voting issues such as marriage equality and civil rights. (Check out this list for even more engaging political blogs on Tumblr Tumblr Isn't Just For Photography: 7 News & Political Blogs To Follow Tumblr Isn't Just For Photography: 7 News & Political Blogs To Follow Are you big fans of Tumblr? Here at MakeUseOf, we certainly are. The blogging platform brings together the idea of blogging together with social networking and has become home to some of the most creative,... Read More .)

If you want to take your political education a step further, Rock the Vote also provides many volunteer opportunities for those who want to get actively involved.

Real Clear Politics (Web)

realclearpolitics site

This is a more advanced resource for those looking for up-to-date electoral information. It’ll be an excellent site to watch over the coming months for the latest polling information PollTracker: Follow The Polls Of The 2012 US Election [iOS] PollTracker: Follow The Polls Of The 2012 US Election [iOS] Read More and which candidates are favoured in what areas.

The site also hosts political news videos, which can be useful for anyone who prefers to learn via visuals or who doesn’t have the time to tune in to traditional televisions reports.

New York Times Interactive Tracker (Web)

newyorktimes site

This engaging election tool 8 Election Day Voting Resource Websites: Who, What & Where 8 Election Day Voting Resource Websites: Who, What & Where Read More will help you stay on top of the candidates running for President while also providing you with information about the candidates’ election prep strategies.

The online resource provides a wealth of information with regards to the key factors affecting a candidate’s decision to run, and what they would need to do to win.

The tool does not include independent parties in its calculations, however, so its usefulness is limited to voters who side with either Republicans or Democrats.

Meerkat (iOS and Android)

Meerkat app

This is a free live streaming video app that many politicians are using to get their unfiltered messages across to tech-savvy individuals. It is, however, locked in a battle with Periscope, an app of the same variety.

Meerkat allows users to stream live video footage from their phones and push the content to their followers on Twitter Electionista: Monitor Twitter Trends During Elections Electionista: Monitor Twitter Trends During Elections Read More . Provided you’re following a few political figures and/or journalists, you’re likely to find it an amazing way to stay informed and up to date on the ongoings of the election.

That said, there is one drawback: streamed footage can only be watched live, so if you miss anything you won’t be able to see it after the fact.

Also, if you plan to use Meerkat you need to follow their community guidelines, which include no threats or bullying. All material must be respectful of other users.

Download: Meerkat for iOS (Beta)|Android (Beta)

Ballotpedia (Web)

Ballotpedia site

Ballotpedia offers insights into the Democrats and Republicans running for president, along with individual profiles for each potential candidate. You’ll also notice a clock ticking down the time left until the 2016 presidential election, as well as information about each state’s voting history.

The map midway down the page is an interactive guide on how each state has voted in the past, broken down into percentages of voters who have voted Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green. As the 2016 election moves forward, this information will be updated for each state.

You can also check the newsfeed for a range of recently published articles relating to your specific political interests. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you may be able to attend a few of the party conventions nearest to you.

Why Researching Presidential Candidates Matters

Being an informed voter 4 Fact Checking Sites You Should Read Before Voting 4 Fact Checking Sites You Should Read Before Voting Quickly check whether a political statement is fact, fiction or something in between. Fact checking sites won't give you all the answers or tell you what to think, but they they can help you sort... Read More is an important task all members of society should take seriously. It can be tempting to vote straight ballot or vote based on appearances alone (as many U.S. voters do), but taking the time to research candidates’ platforms and political agendas will make you feel more confident about casting your vote 4 Fact Checking Sites You Should Read Before Voting 4 Fact Checking Sites You Should Read Before Voting Quickly check whether a political statement is fact, fiction or something in between. Fact checking sites won't give you all the answers or tell you what to think, but they they can help you sort... Read More .

At the very least, taking the time to follow election developments and the different candidates will help you bond with voters who share similar political views, or intelligently explain your views to voters with different ones.

Do you have a favorite election resource not mentioned here? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Public Domain Archive

  1. amarillio
    November 12, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    i want to responce on certain people in the usa that we're demonstrating because of that they do not like donald trump. they accussed him for racist etc etc. but, those that are demonstrating? they are racist too. racist towards trump. if trump is racist for real? than, i am sure that he is not the only racist people in america? besides that, he already won the election. so, what do you plan to do about it? nothing that you can do? demonstrating about that he become president. demonstrating about that, is a waste of time in my opinion. but? if these people want to waste their time with demonstrating about that? well, go continue waste your time with your prejudice and hateful behaviour towards trump.

  2. Gabrielle D
    November 9, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Not a big fan of poilitics or US, but this was too important to ignore, so i just watched the whole thing using ivacy.... Now... how are the things looking for the Europeans and even more importantly, us Brits?
    (mistakenly typed this comment in some other post because of the site's weird scroll system...apologies )

  3. Mukesh Chauhan
    October 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    US Election 2016
    Trump Vs Clinton
    Trump as US President is better choice as he will become US National hero one day due to his more focus on National Issue of America such as boosting its economy, employment generation etc. rather H. Clinton focus will be to become International Personality and great women as a person. USA future with H. Clinton as President will be like past –present--future same. No change in US economy and unemployment figures as a Secretary of State what maximum she can do for USA every one of US people know. D. Trump is common man that grows from zero to hero in personal life. He understands the value of US money and its importance as money is the only power for USA to remain No1 Country in The world that used to rules the world.
    Potential risk with H. Clinton is that due to her liberal foreign policies and high risk of taking decision at crucial time. She will be like Front end face of US President and Backend all the way will be Ex- US President Bill Clinton’s show. US People understand this very well.
    Asian immigrants will be great chance to boost and rise during D. Trump as US will need more people or skilled workers to meet their economy demands.
    Gas Oil problem will be major issue with H. Clinton due to her lacking business skills and D. Trump will solve this problem within one month. As a business man he understands how to sell and how to buy things of National importance. Better buying and better selling techniques is one of the plus advantages of D. Trump. Some of the country’s job oriented people like India etc have great gains if D. Trump becomes President as he may need more people to fill jobs and restart US manufacturing industry on fast track. Businesses doing objective country people like China and Japan will be on loss as they will lose US market within one year of D. Trump as US President.
    US people are smart people and will react at last movement to do makeshift movement as most of them towards D. Trump side after surpassing all smiles and cheers to H. Clinton they spend in Elections days.

    Mukesh Chauhan
    NRI, MI USA

  4. dragonmouth
    May 20, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    These and other resources present the candidates the way their political handlers want the public to see them. Once elected, the candidate forgets his supposed platform and any pre-election promises and gets down to business of pushing their party's agenda and of feathering his/her nest. One must look past the fog, smoke and mirrors and BS and see what the candidates really stand for. Too many voters rely on pundits and "experts" to tell them how to vote.

  5. Kieran Colfer
    May 19, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Are there any apps/plugins/etc out there that help you *ignore* the election? Am sick of hearing about it already and there's still what, 16 months to go? Is not a competition on the issues anyway, is a beauty contest and a contest to see who can smear the other side's candidate more.

    • dragonmouth
      May 20, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      "Are there any apps/plugins/etc out there that help you *ignore* the election?"
      Yes, there is. It is called "discriminating thinking." It allows you, a thinking (and thoughtful) being, to disregard all the hoopla until Election Day. There are also caves way off the beaten path where you can spend your time away from civilization.

      "is a beauty contest and a contest to see who can smear the other side’s candidate more. "
      That it is. Issues are only for sound bites. However, you don't have to vote for, you can also vote against, but vote you must. Too many have died to protect our right to vote for us to be no-shows on Election Day. Voting is not only a right but an obligation.

  6. Howard Pearce
    May 18, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    It can also be tempting to vote only for candidates that "have a chance of winning" as the political establishment will say.

    Just remember that the chances of your vote making the difference in anything but the most local of elections is so small that the benefits of voting for whom you believe EASILY surpass it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *