Four Election Day Apps To Combat Your Anxiety With Knowledge

Because we for some reason have made Columbus Day a holiday (celebrating… colonialism, imperialism, and violence, I guess?) but somehow not Election Day, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be working or in classes tomorrow on Election Day. I, for instance, will be running around campus helping students, tutoring people, driving to and from my apartment, and trying to keep up with this website. It seems unlikely that I will have access to a TV at any point, and limited access to a computer, so obviously I will go completely up the wall because I can’t get constant updates, poll point by poll point, as the day progresses. Even though the formidable Nate Silver prediction algorithm still has the probability of Obama winning as very high, that is no match for my crippling anxiety. I need to know ALL THE THINGS, and I need to know them RIGHT NOW.

But no fear, because of course, there’s an app for that. Several, actually! Here are some things you can download to your phone so you can keep abreast of Election Day happenings even as you’re rappelling down a mountain, driving a bus full of nuns and orphans, or being a campus tour guide. Whatever your thing is, you can still freak out over Ohio with the rest of us.

NYTimes Election 2012


You’ve probably been getting much of your news about the election from the NYT already, so their specifically election-focused app kind of makes sense. It gives general up-to-the-minute political coverage, but more specifically for our purpose, it also gives live election results and county-by-county maps. It will give you updated Nate Silver/FiveThirtyEight projections, and “a database of polling results from a variety of organizations.” The app is technically free, but this is the fine print:

“The app is free to download and includes free access to the top six news stories. Once you download the app, you can choose to subscribe and get full access to all features. Existing subscribers to + Smartphone Apps or All Digital Access can simply log in to get full access to this app as part of their existing subscription. For unlimited access to this smartphone app, subscribe for just 99¢ for your first 4 weeks.”

Sneaky! We get it, you guys. You have a pay wall. Mazel tov. It’s up to you to decide which “all features” you need access to, or whether it’s worth paying for (because really, while paid apps are meh, 99¢ is also less than a bag of Doritos, so.) Also, this app only has 3 stars in most customer ratings, perhaps because of the secret-paying-for-features thing.



Despite the mysterious hyphenation, this app appears to be actually free, so it has that going for it. And while customer reviewers say that it may not be the best app if you need actual facts about candidates’ positions or news stories, it does promise a lot for poll and numbers junkies, including “full vote results, live streaming videos, plus on-going real time live updates via our innovative, exciting new “Live Wire.” Not sure what “Live Wire” is or whether it’s something to actually get excited about, but the inclusion of a local voter’s guide is great, and there’s an exciting and dynamic red-and-blue color scheme that reminds me of the Daily Show, so.



If you’re a real political superfreak, there’s a good chance that you already have the Politico app on your phone. Because, you know, what else are you going to do while waiting in line at the pharmacy than read about how Obama is polling among Congregationalist Toyota owners between the ages of 24 and 55? This isn’t a separate Election Day app, it’s the same thing you may already have, but it does promise “LIVE coverage, results, maps, and more!” for the special day. Since LIVE is in all caps, it seems like it will probably be excellent. Sidenote, if anyone downloads all of these apps and can report back to headquarters and tell us what this constant reference to “more!” is referring to, it would be much appreciated.

2012 Map


Cons: This app is only available for iPhone and also costs two dollars. Pros: It calls itself “The Presidential Election App,” and is very well reviewed. Although I can’t see it because I don’t have an iPhone, it appears to be pretty straightforward: it gives you a national map and identifies which states have gone blue and which have gone red, and gives you updated information on polls. Interestingly, it also has a historical function, so if in the middle of Election Day 2012 you find yourself nostalgic for the birth of the Carter administration, you can whisk yourself back to the red-and-blue map for that year. If you’re an iPhone owner who also enjoys lighting their cigarettes with dollar bills, let us know what you think of that one!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. I really want the 2012 Map one! Right now, $2 is too much, but I’m sure I’ll end up purchasing it in the heat of the moment tomorrow.

    • JUST KIDDING. I made it until like 9pm today. I’m majorly getting my nerd on right now with the historical maps.

  2. Word up to the politico app. I LOVE Politico.

    Also thank you for this, right about now I always feel like vomiting for the next 48 hours out of sheer anxiety so anything I have at my disposal to combat those feelings is most welcome.

  3. I thought of something yesterday that made me wonder if I’m even eligible to vote anymore. I had a change of address in the same town recently – like, a week ago – and I read something somewhere that said to notify my local election board of my change of address in writing, which I obvs didn’t do. I don’t know if that changes anything.

      • That’s where I was.

        “What must I do if I’ve changed my address since I registered?
        If you have moved within the same city or town, notify your local election office of your new address in writing.”

        • You should still be fine; they’re not going to come to your house to check and see if you’re still living where you were last month — especially since it’s such a recent change of address.

          But you should call your local election office anyway (county clerk, usually? googling “vote [your town name]” should direct you to the right place) and make sure that you’ll still be fine. Might as well double check your polling place while you’re on the phone with them to make sure that you’re going to the right place to cast your ballot.

          HAPPY VOTING!

      • Great suggestion to check! I moved within the same city as well and just had a momentary panic attack but now I am back on track for tomorrow.

  4. There’s probably already one in the works, but just in case there isn’t- can we have an Election Day Open Thread tomorrow? Pretty please?

      • can we also have a Whiskey Open Thread tomorrow? I feel like either way I’m going to need it–for celebration or consolation.

  5. I do not have a smartphone; tomorrow is going to be a very anxiety-filled day.
    Hopefully I can find a website with up-to-the-minute updates or I am going to be a wreck by the time I get home and can turn on the TV.

  6. I’ll just be obsessively and furtively refreshing my web browser while all my colleagues look at me like I’m weird because they’re all Australian and don’t give a shit. Lol my life.

Comments are closed.