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Visible Vote for iPhone gets you involved in the political process

Review the bills currently before Congress, cast your own votes on them, then see how the results match up with those of your elected officials. This ingenious app is free.

Guess who I won't be voting for come November, 2010?

To paraphrase the old saying: Everyone complains about the government, but no one does anything about it. If you want to get more involved in the political process, "elect" Visible Vote Mobile to your iPhone or iPod Touch.

The free app lets you compare the voting records of your state senators and congressional representative(s) with your votes on the issues of the day.

For example, do you agree with the bill to expand Medicare coverage? (You can read a description and highlights right on your iPhone.) Cast your vote, then see how it matches up with your elected officials.

The app also lets you compose and send letters to your legislators--one of them, all of them, or just those you choose. (Finally! A quick and easy way to say, "Dear Elected Official: Please stop wasting taxpayer money on stupid stuff.")

According to the developers, Visible Vote sends a weekly letter to your legislators informing them how you and others voted. In addition, it "sends you an overview report next election so you know who to vote for and against." Um, OK, that's a little weird.

Alas, you can't view your reps' voting records without casting votes yourself, which is a bit irksome. Hopefully a future update will address that limitation, while at the same time adding biographical information about the legislators themselves.

Interestingly, Visible Vote for Facebook offers both those features--and it can sync with the iPhone app to make your votes visible to your friends.

I have to admit, I pay very little attention to politics, particularly the voting records of the people who represent me in Congress. (I know: bad citizen. Bad!) That's why I'm delighted by Visible Vote: it helps me clue into what's happening and even add my voice to the discussion. Talk about a game changer.