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Non-partisan Android apps for election season 2012

by Kristen Nicole

Every four years we have the opportunity to elect a new president of the United States, kicking off an election season that charges the air with anticipation and excitement. Citizens now have more information than ever to weigh the pros and cons of each presidential candidate. Armed with Android apps, you can keep a level head during the 2012 elections, check your own facts, follow real-time news updates and gain perspective from pundit analysis. Whether you’re a first-time voter or a veteran, there’s an Android app for everyone.

PolitiFacts Mobile ($1.99)

Election season is rife with contradictory accusations and promises alike. Fact-check every stat the candidates throw out there with PolitiFacts Mobile, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact checker. With a vast database of stats, PolitiFacts’ Truth-O-Meter will get to the heart of election sentiment, along with their Flip-O-Meter, Obameter and GOP Pledge-O-Meter. Quick-check report cards reveal the records behind political groups, while the Flip-O-Meter shows recent changes of heart. But don’t take my word for it – check out the app (and the facts) for yourself.

NYTimes Election 2012 (free)

From one of the nation’s oldest publications, The New York Times has crafted a one-stop destination app for all things related to political news. You’ll get free access to the top six stories, or full access to all stories and features of NYTimes.com with a paid subscription. For election year in particular, a special section is anchored by The Times’ famous columns including The Caucus and FiveThirtyEight, supplemented with other curated content exclusive to the paper. The app will also deliver live election results, county-by-county maps, vote projections, polling results, candidate pages and a primary calendar with in-depth information on each state.

VoterHub (free)

You may have spent the last several months deciding who to vote for, but come election day you’ll need to know the basics, like how to register and where to vote. AT&T’s VoterHub puts it all in the palm of your hand, with an app that checks your voter registration status, along with online registration in permitted counties. You can see deadlines for registering, and request forms to be mailed to you. See what the voter ID requirements are in your jurisdiction, along with early voting dates, absentee voting options, and your state’s election calendar. And along with a map of local polling places, you can also set up reminders for key dates and election results. VoterHub is also a place to discuss political topics, read the latest election news, view promotional and educational videos, and even listen to music from artists like Will.i.am who is pushing the importance of voter registration and participation.

Politico (free)

Known for rapid-fire political content, Politico’s popular publication found its way to Android. You get in-depth coverage of the president, Congress and of course the 2012 race to the White House. The Android app also includes videos, offline options and the ability to share stories with Facebook and Twitter friends, or via email. Aside from its popularity, Politico is also known for its design, which translates pretty well to the Android experience. As you’d expect from a news reader, there’s adjustable font size options, a queue for later-reading and plenty of sharing options to send content to friends.

VoterMap (free)

Every election night we stay up, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning, watching the voting results come in. Tune in to any major news channel and you’ll see voting results color-coded on a map of the U.S., drawing a unique picture of our nation. Reiterating the importance of location-aware activity, VoterMap’s Android app acts as a map-based forum for political discussion. The idea is to comment on current issues, and even post audio, photos and videos that have been geo-tagged to your location. And VoterMap isn’t limited to the U.S. – its maps span the globe, letting you dial into political discussions happening worldwide.

PostTV (free)

From The Washington Post comes a new app called Post TV, which essentially brings their publication’s content to your connected television. It’s not a mobile Android app per se, but it’s available on Google Play, integrated into the Android platform for Google TV access. And with a dedicated section for political news, The Washington Post is one of many useful sources to follow this election season. One program includes Trail Mix, an ongoing political series with analysis from top pundits out on the 2012 campaign trail.

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