Voters tired of extreme partisanship and screaming from both sides in political debates can take some comfort in a new iPhone application that helps them follow issues and connect with their lawmakers.
iCitizen, a free app by CitizenEngine Inc., was conceived with the help of former Sen. Andrew Rice, a former Democratic minority leader in the Oklahoma Senate. Rice is a member of the iCitizen advisory board, which also includes former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican who was majority leader for four years.
Rice became interested in the idea of a civic engagement app when he moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 2012 when his wife took a job there. After a short stint in Tennessee, the Rice family is back in Oklahoma City, where Rice is executive director of the Variety Care Foundation. Rice said he's excited to see the iCitizen app available for voters across the country.
Rice said the iCitizen app is aimed at voters who aren't political junkies but still want to be engaged in the political process.
“There's a lot of people who aren't necessarily engaged between the election cycles but still care about the issues and are looking for ways to become engaged,” Rice said. “Most people are tired of the knee-jerk, simplistic attacks and want a more nuanced discussion.”
After a short registration screen where users can sign in by email or through a Twitter or Facebook account, the iCitizen app lets voters enter their address to find their state and federal elected officials. Users can also pick from several issues they want to track and weigh in on polls organized by iCitizen.
For more information on the iCitizen app, go to icitizen.com or download it from the iTunes store.