Political Apps on the Rise Due to Upcoming Elections

October 26, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. emerge / ɪˈmɜrdʒ/ (v.) – to appear or become visible
Example:  Smartphone apps based on reality shows have emerged in app stores.

2. adept / əˈdɛpt/ (adj.) – able to do something very well
Example: He is adept at creating smartphone apps.

3. frustration / frʌˈstreɪ ʃən/ (n.) – the feeling of being troubled and angry at the same time
Example: I am frustrated by political candidates who are not aware of the needs of ordinary citizens.

4. campaign / kæmˈpeɪn/ (v.) – to make an effort to make something successful
Example: I will campaign for the candidate who values education above other issues.

5. solicit / səˈlɪs ɪt/ (v.) – to ask or request for something
Example: Presidential candidates solicit donations from their supporters so that they can pay for promotional materials.


Read the text below.
Political apps have emerged due to the upcoming presidential elections in the United States. 

The largest voting group in the United States is the 18 to 35-year-old demographic called millennials. Born from 1980 to 2000, they make up about 31% of voters in the United States, or around 83 million people. They are a technologically-adept generation, so several groups have created smartphone apps to encourage them to vote this year.

Voter is an app that matches a user’s preferences with a candidate. It asks yes-or-no questions regarding issues and matches the user’s answers to a candidate with similar beliefs. Information from the app was gathered from the records and past speeches of the candidates. The app developer reveals that he created it due to the frustration he felt regarding the lack of reliable sources about candidates. He also claims that when people find a good match, they are more likely to participate in the elections.

News outlet CNN also created a political app called CNN Politics. The app makes information about the elections available to its users as soon as news comes out. According to one of the developers, the app satisfies the public’s desire to know about the elections in one click.

Apps campaigning for particular candidates have also emerged in app stores. Hillary 2016 is an app that gives updates and solicits donations for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, while America First is an app campaigning for Donald Trump. Both apps use a unique feature called gamification, or the use of game mechanics. The app rewards users with stars or points when they complete a certain task, like promoting a candidate via social networking sites like Twitter.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think political apps are effective in encouraging people to vote? Explain.
·         Why do you think candidates are starting to use apps to promote themselves?

Discussion B

·         What is the best source of information for voters in evaluating candidates? Explain.
·         If you were to run for the elections, how would you reach out to voters? Explain.

October 26, 2016