How to Build a Powerful Election Tracking Voting App

April 13, 2016 | Rob LaPointe

Back in the ‘08 Presidential election, Nate Silver was a virtually unheard of by the majority of voters and political pundits alike. But when everyone else predicting that the race would be close, only Silver and his analytic team at (named after the number of people in the US electoral college) were able to accurately predict Obama’s crushing success over McCain – even with the Straight Talk Express.

What Silver realized was that where many pundits were looking at individual polls, they weren’t performing good quantitative analysis; in other words they were crunching the numbers correctly. Silver realized that what was needed was an accurate, well-planned statistical analysis of the data available, including demographics and polling data.

So what was the result? In 2008, Silver predicted 50 out of the 51 (50 states and the District of Columbia) possible results accurately. In 2012, he got all 51 results right. This success launched Silver and 538 into the stratosphere and placed him at the forefront of statistical analysis.

While Silver had a past history with Baseball, his 2008 fame opened other doors for him. It made him and his team one of the most used statistical analysis on everything from sports to politics to how much cheese the US produces. Today, Silver is probably one of the wealthiest statisticians around and is enormously sought after. While his fame started with an earlier algorithm for baseball he created (PECOTA), most of it is thanks to the work he has done in politics.

It may seem a little odd to be talking about this in a blog for app and web development, but there is a connection. What Silver was doing was what every modern smart SEO and entrepreneur does on a daily basis: making effective decisions informed by reliable analytical data. And how does the clever entrepreneur do it? Through data processing apps and custom software. Voting app development is little different from any other type of data-driven app – apps that SDI makes all the time.

How to Create a Voting App that Gets Downloads

The market is crying out for an app that can help them get some sort of a grip on the carnival that is the 2016 US Presidential elections. Even Nate Silver himself has had issues predicting what’s going on and more than one esteemed pundit has been found himself to be wrong – several times over. As the race gets even tighter, people will become increasingly more eager for a voting app that can help them understand the complexity of the situation.

This is especially true on the Republican side, as it is becoming increasingly more likely that we will end up with what is known as a brokered or contested convention. As Cruz gains more support, and Trump’s campaign attempts to recover from a series of bad days, the importance of delegates will increase, as will how they are distributed.

This where a well designed app can come in handy, even over 538. When the gals and guys at 538 release something, most people just here “so and so has more delegates.” Even when you think you have the definition of a delegate down, the Dems throw superdelegates at you, just to be vexing. But often the problem is more basic, like how do delegates work, why are they important, and how they impact the election.

An app can provide all of that, plus the actual statistics themselves. If, as is likely, a brokered convention does occur, voters will need help understanding the rules, especially when it comes to second, third and beyond (the brokered convention of 1924 saw 103 ballots before it concluded). Nobody is denying that this complicated. Considering that the last time any party reached the convention without a nominee was in 1976, even most of the people involved in the convention are unsure what will happen. All in all, politics (especially this year’s US Presidential race) represents one of the most complicated statistical problems around.

Let’s just throw out the basic numbers here, so we have an idea of the complexities at work:

On the Republican side, the nominee needs 1,237 delegate votes to win outright. Currently, Trump has 743, with Cruz not too far behind at 545. In order to win, Trump will need to win anywhere from 58% to 75% of the remaining delegates. This number changes as each primary goes by, further muddying the issue.

On the Democratic side the race isn’t as volatile, but Bernie and Hillary are still both in the running. The race isn’t as close as it is in the GOP, but Bernie still has a respectable chance to win the nomination. The Dems need more delegate votes (2,289) than the GOP to win the nomination, plus there’s the whole Superdelegate issue to consider. Currently, Bernie has 1,038 to Hillary’s 1,289 votes.

Some of you are probably thinking that this significantly closer than the Trump-Cruz race, but there’s an added twist to the Democratic side: Superdelegates. Superdelegates, unlike delegates, are not bound to vote for the nominee their state elects. They can vote for any nominee within their party, and Hillary has 469 to Bernie’s 31.

So obviously, there’s a lot to cover here. This is only a small percentage of the variables that a statistician needs to consider here; in fact, it’s very similar to the sports stats analysis apps we’ve developed and designed. The success of apps for sports stats, plus Silver’s success in both politics and sports, points to a second reason to develop such an app – it opens doors to other money-making ventures.

Another advisable feature that would increase the value of this app is to create interactive elements. What we mean here is something that will engage your reader, something more than just a bunch of content and numbers.

How awesome would it be if there was a voting app out there that let users see how much harder the path to the nomination would be for Trump if he lost New York. How do the numbers change if something like that occurs? Or by what percentage does Hillary need to win in order to cement the nomination?

The point is that there is a lot an election tracking app can do to help citizens understand all of the numbers being thrown around. It provides a valuable and useful way to engage with the political process, without being overwhelmed by a lack of understanding. And, as Silver has shown, the ability to produce cogent, accurate statistical analyses gets people to hire you for all sorts of things.

This promises to be one of the most-watched and followed elections in US history, as well as one f the most unique. In my home of Silicon Valley, we are eagerly awaiting our turn to elect a nominee, but it’s hard to gauge exactly to whom California will go. An app that allows us to understand how local voters are feeling and tracks other election polls would be exceptionally useful, not to mention profitable. Don’t worry – our expert development team can get your app launched in 4-6 weeks, plenty of time before the end of this election cycle.

Your Election App Developers

At SDI, we design apps, websites, and software to make sense out of the mountains of data we produce today. We know how to create apps that are not only based off this information, but are designed to help CEOs, Entrepreneurs, and Voters, make sense out of Big Data.

With our help, your app or business can grow in leaps and bounds, thanks to the power of our statistical analyses and excellently designed products.

If you would like a free consultation, or just to get started on your own voting app, give us a call today at 408.805.0495. You may also contact us by email at Request for an NDA and let’s jump right in.

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