Election Day 2012: live results and useful online tools

By on November 6, 2012, 3:00 PM

Technologically speaking, this election year is poised to be the most sophisticated one ever. Candidates (and voters alike) have seemingly fully embraced social media, social networking and the virality of the Interwebs. The Internet is proving to be an increasingly powerful tool for democracy, so here are some tips for leveraging the Information Super Highway for your election day needs

Make a decision

If you're somehow still on the fence about who to vote for, then you may want to check out Vote Smart's VoteEasy -- a webpage which attempts to boil down each candidate based on where they stand regarding 13 hot-button issues. Simply choose your favored answers for each topic and see who's left standing.

Because candidate stances aren't always entirely clear (that's politics for you), Vote Smart employs a Political Courage Test to further refine the results it offers. The PCT is based on the many bi-partisan opinions of hundreds of journalists, pundits and leaders -- but don't forget those are just opinions.

Get informed

Additionally, websites like Factcheck.org and Politifact.com aim to sort of the truths and not-so-truths of each candidate. Most of us don't have the time (or will) to independently research every tiny claim, so websites like these can be a great tool for making a more nuanced decisions before hitting the ballot box. 

Also, Google just launched its own tool for displaying election year data with clear, well-organized information including a ballot summary, primary results, ad campaign spending and more. 

Get real-time results

Many voters and non-voters alike will be interested in the results of the election. If you wish to follow those results closely, plenty of news media websites will be offering real-time election maps like CNN, Fox News, Politico among others.

If you're hoping to watch live video coverage of the event unfold, YouTube's got your back with both pre-recorded and live streaming from ABC and many other networks. Meanwhile, Xbox owners may be glad to know they can enjoy live, interactive coverage via NBC.

Many outlets are utilizing social media to give us better insights too. CNN's Election Center shows who's talking about who on Facebook, including a breakdown of demographics. 

Also, the Twitter Political Index attempts to offer insight into what it believes the general "feeling" of tweeters is toward each candidate. Some researchers believe that social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook may be useful in predicting elections -- a theory that will certainly be tested after today's results. Interestingly, some of those same people suggest "herd mentality" may also empower such websites to sway voter opinions in one direction.

Vote!

Google's Election website, by the way, also provides an easy way to find local polling places. If Google doesn't have your local voting booth, it will show you where to look -- usually your state's website. 

ABC has a concise FAQ which spells out some general election day rules while Gizmodo gives a breakdown of the machines voters will likely encounter at the polls.




User Comments: 16

Got something to say? Post a comment
KG363 KG363 said:

I found http://www.isidewith.com/ to be an excellent tool for identifying the candidate you most agree with.

Guest said:

I voted for Gary Johnson on the touch screen. When I went to review, it said Obama. Fortunately they were able to fix the problem. But seriously, come on, what a joke. Switching votes.

It couldn't have been a screen calibration problem because Everything else worked properly. Also, it couldn't have been me accidentally hitting the wrong choice, because Romney was in between those two choices.

Again its all a joke. Things will not get better. No matter what.

Geforcepat Geforcepat said:

I didn't vote for neither one.

(we pc folk are not impressed easily)

Guest said:

So, Geforcepat, who did you vote for? If you *didn't* for for *neither*, then you voted for one.

Geforcepat Geforcepat said:

@Guest ok Let me be be clear. I voted for Nobody.

they ain't getting my vote

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I voted for Gary Johnson on the touch screen. When I went to review, it said Obama. Fortunately they were able to fix the problem. But seriously, come on, what a joke. Switching votes.

It couldn't have been a screen calibration problem because Everything else worked properly. Also, it couldn't have been me accidentally hitting the wrong choice, because Romney was in between those two choices.

Again its all a joke. Things will not get better. No matter what.

there was a video or two earlier where mitt romney was being chosen when picking obama xD

davislane1 davislane1 said:

I found http://www.isidewith.com/ to be an excellent tool for identifying the candidate you most agree with.

According to this, I side "91% with Mitt Romney." Neat program, but it would be more credible if it also provided you with sources (candidate records, bills they've signed, etc.) to validate the result.

In fact, if they take it to that level, it could be quite a useful service: Users fill out the answers, they get the result, and then they get a page directing them to all of the information that validates that result (bills, proposals, other records, etc. of that politician). It would certainly make researching these clowns a lot less time consuming.

1 person liked this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

I voted for Gary Johnson on the touch screen. When I went to review, it said Obama. Fortunately they were able to fix the problem. But seriously, come on, what a joke. Switching votes.

It couldn't have been a screen calibration problem because Everything else worked properly. Also, it couldn't have been me accidentally hitting the wrong choice, because Romney was in between those two choices.

Again its all a joke. Things will not get better. No matter what.

there was a video or two earlier where mitt romney was being chosen when picking obama xD

Romney win: The claims of voting fraud from Dems will be ceaseless, these videos/accounts will be referenced. Lawsuits. Outrage.

Obama win: The claims of voting fraud from Repubs will be ceaseless, these videos/accounts will be referenced. Lawsuits. Outrage.

Johnson win: Global disbelief.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Neither party is worth voting for and I don't trust the polls, so why should I waste my time voting?

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Waste time voting for that other guy

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Neither party is worth voting for and I don't trust the polls, so why should I waste my time voting?

I've always held the position that the Democrat and Republican parties are the worst things that ever happened to this republic. Frankly, they were garbage just prior to the Civil War and they've remained that way ever since. However, the choice not to vote does nothing other than ensure that the status quo remains the same: Die-hard Democrats will vote the party every election, die-hard Republicans will vote the party every election, independents will vote for the lesser of two perceived evils, non-voters will accomplish nothing, and nothing will ever change. Why vote, you ask? Because the current symposium of hacks, crooks & goons that populate Congress and the White House derive their job security from half of the eligible American public having better things to do on election days.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Waste time voting for that other guy

Ummm, no thank you. Not voting will accomplish the same outcome. If I am to vote, give me something worth voting for. As it is I don't care who wins. And If I don't care who wins then who should I vote for?

Guest said:

Electronic voting not my cup of tea!

If it's still a fallible system, why do they 'enhance' it with touch screens?

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Probably thought that it would make it more simple/ I remember seeing something about it on the simpsons a while back xD

spencer spencer said:

Parties are just another reason to split this corrupt nation.

basically rich people vote red

middle class normally votes blue

and lower class votes for anything and everything

but it's rare people actually study what they are voting for

If people vote they need to make a well informed pick. instead of being like little isheep

Doctor John Doctor John said:

Probably thought that it would make it more simple/ I remember seeing something about it on the simpsons a while back xD

Also electronic touchscreens don't use chads

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.