Review: App eases access to politics

by Erik Cliburn | Editorial Assistant
Published: Last Updated on

countable-review-2As many people increasingly feel misrepresented by government and unheard by the politicians in Washington, apathy and indifference towards the American political system has grown. Countable is designed to change that. This app takes United States politics and simplifies it so that nearly anyone can understand it. When I first logged into Countable, I was prompted to create a profile, which would use only my zip code. At first I was confused by why this information was necessary, but after creating my profile, it linked me to the profiles of Indiana’s senators, currently Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats, and the Congressman for my district André Carson. The app’s primary function is to display current bills, proposed bills or issues being faced in the federal government. The app lets you known whether or not the legislation has been reviewed in Congress yet; if so, it lets you know how your senators and representatives voted on the issue. The app then lets you vote “yea” or “nay” on each piece of legislation. The vote is then recorded and sent to your representatives in order to better inform them about how their constituents are feeling about issues. After voting on each issue, you are prompted to comment on why you voted that way, which you can either accept or decline.

The most recent issue that I voted on was “Should the U.S. Continue to Strengthen Israel’s Military?,” to which I voted “Nay.” Before voting on the issue, I scrolled down the page to find more details about this issue. I discovered that my representative, Carson, had voted “Yea” on the issue, and that the House of Representatives had already passed the bill with 405 “Yeas” to four “Nays.” I also was informed that the bill had not yet been voted on in the Senate or signed by the president. Now, political opinions aside, I thought it was a brilliant idea to allow users the chance to see how not only their representative voted, but how the whole House voted on the issue.

As someone who loves to read comment sections on the Internet, I enjoy the comments made by other Countable users. The comments range from inane one-sided rants to well-thought-out arguments, which, funny enough, represent a microcosm of the American people. Not only does the app let you vote on issues ranging from space exploration, abortion and LGBTQIA rights to fiscal policies, but it also acts as a news source for breaking political stories. In a country where every news source seems to have some bias, it’s refreshing to see a truly unbiased way to inform people about their government. Instead of telling you what bill to support or which  politician to vote for, Countable allows you to form your own opinion on the basis of the facts. It allows you to follow both politicians and other users, and will keep track of their voting preferences and comments on those particular votes.

As a political science minor, I find this app invaluable. Countable provides an almost unparallelled amount of information on politics, compared with any other app out there, not to mention that it is so incredibly easy to use. There are several other apps and websites that allow you to find the voting records of U.S. representatives, but none offer the depth and simplicity of Countable.

Whether you are someone who follows politics regularly, or someone who is trying to learn more about the U.S. government, this app is an incredible, unbiased resource that can help you better understand the policies and laws that affect your life

Countable is available for free for Android and for iPhone.

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