In the midst of the Democratic National Convention and days after the Republican National Convention, the democratic and republican nominees have been chosen. Donald Trump will represent the Republicans while Hilary Clinton makes history as the first female presidential nominee of a major party, the Democratic Party. However, there is still a significant portion of the population that feels that they do not know enough about the election to vote when November 8th rolls around (add that date to your calendars). Cue Countable, the app that makes it easy to understand the bills that lawmakers in Congress will be voting on.
Users can view “Upcoming Bills” or search certain issues to read bills related to causes they care about. They can then read a synopsis of the proposed legislation as well as why one side is voting “Yea” while the other is voting “Nay”. After reading the bill the user has the ability to share their opinions by choosing either “Yea” or “Nay” under the heading of the bill, and can even write a more in-depth answer along with their vote. The voter’s Congressman will receive alerts telling them how their constituents want them to vote.
In regards to elections, Countable includes profiles of each candidate. These profiles include a short bio along with the same bills that the users vote on, but with the candidates’ personal opinions.
Users can also send video messages to their Representative, receive notifications regarding updates and decisions being made, and interact with the community in an effort to learn more about the opinions of others.
On iTunes Countable has a 4-star overall rating. All of the reviews are glowing calling the app “a game changer” that helps people “feel connected to the process”. Even going as far as to “hope every American downloads” the app. The most popular bills on the app have between 2,000 and 5,000 people in the Countable community interacting with it, numbers that don’t include the people who simply use the app to become more informed.
As with all things political, reading the opinions of those with opposing views can make you angry or, at minimum, roll your eyes at the rationale that is used to justify them. You should still read them. The best way to create fully formed decision, which your civic duty, is to read what the opposition has to say. Countable is one possible solution, and if enough people get involved with the app we may have a chance at younger generations who are much better informed than ourselves. I, for one, have definitely learned about a lot about bills I didn’t even know existed. Downloading the app has opened my eyes to the sheer number of bills that will inevitably effect my life that I did not even know were in contention. Easy access to information is what we need to solve the longstanding issue of uninformed eligible voters who are making the decision not to vote based on not knowing enough about what is going on in the government. With the help of Countable, politics is moving into the technology based realm that encompasses the daily lives of the young uninformed voters. The easy accessibility makes it as much a part of their daily lives as texting or SnapChat. As a mobile first application Countable is the perfect way to begin a political conversation with the younger generations. If kids begin to use the app at a young age, then there is a strong chance that they will become more involved in politics in their lifetimes. My hope is that politics will no longer be an afterthought or something that is only focused on every four years during major elections. Countable can help make this a reality.
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Meghan is a summer intern at Evol8tion and a rising senior at Babson College. Learn more about her here .