What is Visible Vote?
Visible Vote is a program that allows constituents to track their legislator’s voting record via their cell phones, Facebook pages, and other electronic interfaces. Visible Vote allows uers to access information that is normally rather difficult to find, enhancing the ‘transparency of government’ that many people feel is important in getting their government to work for them. An interesting aspect of Visible Vote is that it gives user’s the capability of “voting” on the same issues they are tracking, and even sends fax reports of constituent’s votes directly to legislators. The point of this is to show the people we charge with making laws how we really feel on high impact issues.
When you use the Visible Vote program on your blackberry or other device, you can compare your opinion on a legislator’s votes with the rest of the population of Visible Vote — ever wondered how your neighbors feel about your congressman’s position on gay marriage, or the legalization of marijuana? Visible Vote is the easiest source of such information, normally accessible only by digging through complicated reports from your state or national government, or by gluing yourself to C-SPAN or other government access channels.
Using Visible Vote, you can easily compare the overall opinion of your voting district with the way that district’s representative votes. New applications are being added to Visible Vote all the time, including a new feature that would allow voters to email their representatives directly through the Visible Vote interface.
Never have legislator’s voting records been so easily accessible to so many people. With Visible Vote becoming more popular all the time, law makers in Washington and in our state governments will ideally be forced to listen to popular opinion or run the risk of becoming, frankly, unpopular.
Visible Vote is intended to empower Facebook users to vote according to their own belief systems, to communicate this vote to the proper elected officials and to their neighbors, to assess whether their elected officials are voting appropriately, and eventually to communicate more directly with these elected officials. According to the creator of Visible Vote, Paul Everton, “The idea is to put the power back in the voters’ hands.”
Visible Vote has just launched a beta version of its new Blackberry friendly software. Known as “Visible Vote Mobile”, the program will allow users without a Facebook account or who would rather interact with Visible Vote through their mobile phone to have the same functionality of voting and updating their legislators as those who currently run the program on the internet. Users can even write their legislators personal messages from the Blackberry. The Blackberry software can also be “synced” to Facebook, to provide a sort of “seamless” experience for the program’s user. Visible Vote has already logged over 4,000 Facebook users and is currently running the Blackberry beta with just over 100 users.
If you’re interested in running the Visible Vote program on Facebook, check out the Visible Vote Facebook app at http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=46623352206. Follow the simple instructions, and you’ll be voting on the issues that are important to you in no time.