Election App Screen Shot

Here is a example screenshot of the military stance game:


This game would only use data from the last 50 years.
group:Corey, Jim, Hannalore, Anna

Election App – Corey, Jim, Hannalore, Anna

This innovative app, available through mobile devices,  will allow users to look at historic elections in terms individual stances on military support. This app will avoid the traditional blue/red U.S map depiction and will instead offer the opinions of presidential candidates regarding military spending. Users will be given quotes and audio clips from actual presidential candidates and will then be prompted to match the stance to the correct candidate. This decision will be timed in order to discourage users from googling the answer. Research for this program will rely exclusively on primary sources, such as newspapers, video and audio clips and more recently tweets.

The purpose of this app will be to offer users different   perspectives on a continually important issue. It will also highlight how the issue of military spending does not always follow party lines. It will also debunk many of the common stereotypes regarding who supports military spending and why. The expected audience for this app is high school to college aged students and history enthusiasts. We hope that this app will encourage users to ask new questions regarding election issues.

Topic: SNL & Presidential Candidates

Question: How many times are presidential candidates caricatured on Saturday Night Live versus election results?


Compare quantitative and qualitative data.

Quantitative: How many times was each candidate caricatured on SNL from 1975 to 2012?

Quantitative: Ratings for individual episodes featuring caricatures compared to election turnout figures, based on demographic figures.

Quantitative: Margin of victory of candidate in both numbers and percentages.

Qualitative: How are they portrayed?


All data will be presented in an interactive map that will be available online.  Clips from the episodes will be available by candidate and year.  Comment section will allow viewers to interact with the information.

by April, Molly, Charles and Stephen



Digital history for U.S. elections

In this course thus far, we have discussed:

  • the digital humanities, broadly defined
  • big data (its uses and abuses, advantages and liabilities)
  • data curation
  • digital preservation (including preservation of election-related websites)
  • digitization of primary sources
  • text mining
  • metadata for museum collections
  • augmented reality
  • digital storytelling (including games)
  • the importance of place in historical interpretation (and different ways to approach the study of place)

Today I want you to consider the past 50 years of U.S. presidential elections and find a way to present them—or a portion of them—to the public (high school students and older) in an innovative way that uses digital history methods.  You might focus on a particular subset of the voting public (demographic, geographic), a period of time, media coverage of campaigns, or an issue that arises regularly in presidential elections (e.g. the economy, reproductive rights) and how it affects voting patterns. Write a blog post describing how you would research and build your project, its user experience, and what its intended audience would be.  Share as well why you chose your particular focus for this project.

So, for example, you might propose a project that tracks shifts in voting by race or ethnicity over the past 50 years, provide some explanations for these shifts, and ask your project’s audience to vote (or better yet, argue) for their favorite interpretation of this data.  I encourage you to be provocative.  You might, for example, begin with, “No Democratic presidential candidate has won a majority of the white vote since 1964, and it’s forecast that President Obama may win 80 percent of the minority vote this year. That said, some political scientists maintain that, because of changing U.S. demographics, this is the last election in which the Republican party candidate can win by relying on white voters. Why has such a racial divide emerged among voters?”

Note: for this activity, you need to work with classmates outside of your grant proposal group.  Mingle!

Please vote tomorrow

If you have not already voted, please be sure to vote tomorrow, November 6.  You can find your polling place using this tool provided by Google. Information on voting in Idaho, candidates for state and federal offices, and initiatives on the Idaho ballot this year, is available at the Idaho Secretary of State’s website.  The voter pamphlet available for download (PDF) includes arguments for and against each of the proposed initiatives.  If you are eligible to vote in Idaho, but aren’t yet registered, you can register at your polling place on Election Day–see question #10 on this FAQ.

Regardless of whether you are already registered to vote, remember to take a valid photo I.D.–Idaho now requires you to present one before voting.

Remember–tomorrow’s vote encompasses more than a presidential election. Educate yourself on local candidates and issues and vote.