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November 3, 2014

Be an informed voter with Election Essential for Lumia

Use the Election Essential app to brush up on political candidates and issues before you cast your ballot on November 4.

Tomorrow here in the U.S., millions of voters will vote in the mid-term elections. We’ll go to the polls to vote for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the office of governor for most of the 50 states, and other state and local legislative seats such as state assembly and even city or town council.

That’s not all. We also have to decide on a slew of statewide and local initiatives. In my state of California alone, besides electing officials (including attorney general and superintendent of public instruction), we have to decide on six propositions on topics that include medical malpractice, water-infrastructure funding, and criminal sentencing.

So if you want to be a knowledgeable voter, you’ve got lots of reading to do! Luckily, the new Essential Election app for Windows Phone 8.1 can help you.


In one handy place, the free app gives you the rundown on all the candidates for all federal and state legislative, gubernatorial and judicial offices up for election as well as all statewide propositions. Here’s the info the app provides on candidates, both incumbents and their challengers:

  • Biographical information: education, political and professional experience, hometown, and family
  • Track record on issues such as the economy, defense, and crime
  • Campaign contributions
  • Ratings by national special-interest groups such as the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union
  • Contact and social-media information, including Facebook, Twitter and Youtube

Cortana support

You can also enable Cortana, your digital personal assistant that comes with Windows Phone 8.1, to work with Election Essential to find your polling place.

Say “Election, polling location” then give your street address. Cortana will then find the closest polling place and even give you directions.

However, to be safe–since you’re only allowed to vote at your designated polling place– I suggest that you double-check your polling location via the website of your state’s secretary of state office. After all, you want your vote to count!

Election Essential draws information from reliable sources: the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank;, a website committed to government transparency; Project Vote Smart, a citizen-driven voter-education group; and Maplight, a nonpartisan research group that tracks and analyzes money’s influence on politics.

Consider this free app a primer on what you need to know for Election Day. If you use it on your Lumia to help guide you on tomorrow’s election, please let us know!