Happy Mid-Term Elections, everyone! I came across this app that you need to know about… not just because of the timing with the voting… it’s more about understanding the power of the data at your fingertips. #HelpfulButCreepy
The app is called VoteWithMe, and although it seems to have been created by people on one side of the fence, it certainly can be used by anyone who wants to rally people to vote for a favorite candidate or side. Dear readers…. is it good that we have all this info about our connections at our fingertips?
Here’s how it works. You install the app and give it permission to go through your contacts. The first thing it shows you is your own voting record. I’m pretty good. Not great, but pretty good.
Then it gives you information about the next election: where to vote, when to vote, issues and candidates, etc.
Then the app goes after your contacts.
Within about 2 minutes, the app found voting information for many of the 900+ contacts on my phone. You can sort by political party, voting habits, area and even whether they’re in a tight race or not. I found this fascinating, and I spent 30 minutes or so scanning contacts, noting political parties and looking up voting records.
Encouraging Contacts to Vote
Once you have identified someone you want to reach out to, you can find out their public voting record and more.
My husband goes by D.J., not his given name, so the app asked me a couple of questions to find the right person. This didn’t always work well.
The app gives you multiple templates for reaching out to your contacts.
You can just press a button to fill in a text message then press another button to send. If I wanted to, I could have spammed 900 plus people last night. All I did was send one to my husband. He ignored it.
And then with a couple of clicks, you can send a text that will have a link to the voting info.
Sometimes it’s better NOT to know stuff like this about your friends, co-workers, contacts, etc.
I KNOW! That’s exactly what I was thinking.
I am creeped out too, Beth. With emotions running high these days over political issues, this is just a BAD idea.
This is creepy! Definitely something that no one needs.
This is NOT a good thing for our culture. In the not too distant past, such things as voting preferences were considered private and privileged information.
They still should be. It is possible to know too much. Expediency should not take precedence over privacy, civility and neighborliness.
Incorrect. Party affiliation and vote record have been public since parties were created.
Mikey is right. The info has been out there forever. But before I’d have to work hard to get the info. Now it’s at my fingertips, and I find that disconcerting.
This app does feel like a bit of an invasion of privacy.
It did stop short of telling the world who I chose for the various offices, but, the rest of the world really doesn’t need to know whether or not voted. This also brings forth some concern for safety if someone who is unstable had enough data related to their ‘peeve of the moment’, they could potentially be able to choose venues from which they could do specific harm to others (????). Maybe a stretch leaning toward paranoia but weirder things have happened.