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Open States': App Makes Staying Informed of Government Activities More 'Approachable

"You can actually look up the legislator's voting history yourself!"

Screen capture of the Open States iPhone app. (Image: Gizmodo)

Knowing what is going on in your state legislative process can seem daunting but one app seeks to make this information more accessible.

"Open States" is a free app that gathers legislative data from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Gizmodo reports that in addition to pulling together this wealth of inner government workings, it lets you know what stage bills are in the legislative process and provides the positions of politicians.

Here's why Gizmodo thinks it's a worthwhile app:

Open States is a completely approachable yet still informative look at what our government is actually doing. They're not always wearing power suits and shaking hands, you know? Like you know how pundits and talking head always cite a politician's voting history? You can actually look up the legislator's voting history yourself! Interested in stuff that deals with your state? Search for it. Open States is a seriously great tool for anyone interested in our country.

OpenSource.com reports that the original intent for the application programming interface (api) was to create one, uniformed place to access legislative information from all the states.

Open States recently launched its iPhone and iPad app version. Discussions for an Android version are also on the table.

There are several states that the organization still considers "experimental" for various reasons, such as processes inhibiting them from capturing legislators' roll calls. It is currently working around some of these issues.

One last thing…
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