How to stay informed about the 2016 presidential candidates

We've compiled some tips to stay informed as the race to the White House begins. Flickr/Creative Commons

We’ve compiled some tips to stay informed about the presidential election as the race to the White House begins. Flickr/Creative Commons

All college students should strive to be informed about news on all the 2016 presidential candidates. Knowing the candidates and understanding their campaigns generates voters who can make informed decisions. However, this objective information can be difficult for college students to access.

Social media sites and applications are powerful sources in providing news on the upcoming election. However, finding sites and applications that have easily digestible information, and supply data accessible to students can be difficult to find. Here are a number of platforms to explore before casting your vote:

 Re-tweet me, if you want to reach me
Twitter generates many users who can follow candidates short, one-hundred and forty word count posts. These short posts follow the presidential campaigns and summarize any major information. In 2015, Twitter bought the recently launched application Periscope, which is a video live streaming application. Through Periscope, political candidates can broadcast live video and post it directly to Twitter.

 Reddit, Pinterest and Spotify
 Reddit is a surprisingly effective platform when learning about your desired candidate and where they stand on different topics. For example, Barack Obama hosted chats on Reddit for his 2012 campaign. Candidates are also utilizing social media to attract young voters through means that are less politically motivated. Democratic candidate hopeful Hillary Clinton has made her own Spotify playlist, and her Pinterest page shows images of women who inspire her. While this may not inform voters of specific policies candidates plan to enact, it will help them get to know the candidates.

“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”
The News application, downloaded onto all iPhones, allows users to pick content from a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites, store preferred news publications and save articles. Whether it is the Washington Post, Business Insider, The New York Times, or the Los Angeles Times, reading from a variety of sources allows for you to remain an objectively informed voter.

My (Presidential) Story
Snapchat has quickly transformed into a platform where voters can stayed informed about presidential candidates during their campaign. For example, Snapchat users upload videos and images of the Republican and Democratic debates. Candidates will also often make guest appearances and give short statements about certain topical issues, or what they will discuss at an upcoming debate.

The Online Encyclopedia of Politics
Ballotpedia is a search engine and encyclopedia that offers unbiased data on politics at the local, state and federal level. The site provides information on candidates’ policy and campaign issues, and major election results from previous campaigns.  

Are you a blue state or a red state?
270toWin is a newly designed, recently updated application for the iPad. It has an interactive map that illustrates the 2016 election forecast, and whether the state will elect a Democratic or Republican President.
These applications and websites create virtual platforms and spaces for discussion. In a world influenced by technology, social media has become a powerful platform for candidates address their voters.