Tech and the elections: tools, issues, more

There have been political memes and online voter registration and instant feedback and  tracking and targeting — complete with the inevitable privacy questions. Technology is playing quite a role in this year’s elections. (And of course, the elections will have its effects on technology, as some prominent people have guest-written for SiliconBeat.)

With the big day looming next week, here’s a look at tools tech companies have recently rolled out that could be useful to voters or other interested parties: (Also see Tech and politics: Obama text donations, app checks attack ads, YouTube election hub.)

Twitter‘s Political Engagement Map shows the effectiveness of Obama and Romney’s tweets, state by state. Wired says that besides acting as a gauge of how both U.S. presidential candidates’ messages are resonating with the public, it’s also a way for Twitter to show off just another way that the data it collects can be mined. Twitter also has a Political Index that attempts to show mood of tweeting voters.

• In case you’re not among those who have unfriended people over political posts on Facebook and just can’t get enough of the election and sharing, the social network has launched an Election 2012 section in its App Center. (hat tip to Politico)

• Foursquare has launched an app that will allow voters to check in, as well as access polling place and other voter information. It will also allow users to see where Americans are checking in and voting come Tuesday. The Hill’s Hillicon Valley blog points out that a study earlier this year showed that online peer pressure could influence voter participation.


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