Where To Watch The Election Online—For Free

4 months ago Michael Dubinsky 0

We are a new blog intelligently reporting and analyzing current events through a leftist lens. We are trying to combat the digital media trends of clickbait and reporting with no substance. If you want to see more journalism like this, please like us on Facebook.

Tonight’s events are already historic, and they haven’t happened yet. This seemingly interminable election will finally be decided (as long as the loser doesn’t refuse to concede), and the chaos of the past year and a half can finally begin coming into focus. Whatever happens tonight, we will at least get an outcome and therefore a context within which we can consider the events that led us here.

And that’s important, because this election cycle has been unlike anything preceding it. It has been appallingly boorish and misogynistic and racist, yet it has also been at times hopeful and unexpectedly unifying.

We’ve seen the rise of populist candidates whose support signifies widespread disenchantment with conventional politics. One of them, Donald Trump, has emerged among the vanguard of resurgent far right politicians across the Western world, preying on and feeding into the fear, xenophobia, and economic uncertainty of his supporters. In the absence of a cohesive and viable Left, Trump (like many other demagogues of his ilk) has appropriated leftist concerns about real discontents and abuses toward the working class, distorting those critiques into a call for repressive nationalism.

And this has also been an election in which the Internet has played a key role. Bernie Sanders would almost certainly not have had as much success in the Democratic primaries if his coverage had been limited to traditional media (and he probably wouldn’t be America’s most well-liked politician either). For that matter, Trump’s ascent and the term ‘alt-right’ (which immediately became a legitimate political category when Hillary Clinton addressed it in a speech) can be attributed largely to 4chan and Reddit. Much of the best coverage and analysis has come from digital media, and a significant portion of that has been by unestablished reporters.

So that’s why we think this Election Day is a great opportunity to avoid the mainstream media networks…though not for the reasons Trump would identify. The three options below are free to watch and easy to access online from any device. And some of them are experimenting with new, truly innovative ways of broadcasting an election. We even predict that they’ll have less frequent baseless predictions than their mainstream media counterparts. Without further ado:

1. VoteCastr

VoteCastr is rejecting the axiom that citizens shouldn’t have access to election day data while the polls are still open. The conventional wisdom in election coverage has been that access to real-time data could skew outcomes, persuading some voters not to go to the polls or even influencing how they vote.

For the first time in over 35 years, this data stream will be accessible as it comes in via VoteCastr’s website and through their partnership with Slate. Their mission statement posits that “providing information and analysis coming out of key battleground states to the American public throughout Election Day will connect the electorate to voting in a new and very powerful way.”

This data will be accompanied by a live broadcast and projected outcomes, “starting when the first poll opens in Florida and ending when the last poll closes in Nevada.” Whether you’re a data junkie or you just want to see a historic new method of election coverage in the making, VoteCastr is sure to be an interesting and exciting project.

2. Twitter/Buzzfeed

Twitter teamed up with Bloomberg News to livestream the presidential and vice-presidential debates. For Election Day, they’re joining Buzzfeed to cover incoming results and provide analysis. Twitter makes a lot of sense for this sort of endeavor, since it is known for being a hotbed of politics and often the social media platform of choice for grassroots movements. Besides, having a sidebar of smart and funny tweets enhances the occasional drudgery of election coverage and constantly fluctuating outcome predictions.

But Buzzfeed? You might still think of them as the home of obnoxious listicles and overly enthusiastic headlines for drab content…but the truth is, Buzzfeed News has done some great work on important issues, and their diverse team has many perspectives and insights to offer.

According to Adam Sharp, head of news, government and elections at Twitter, the idea is to “hear from voices you don’t typically hear from representing communities and different perspectives that are not generally represented on the dais of political analysts and campaign surrogates that have become the norm.” Sounds worth checking out for that reason alone.

The coverage will begin at 6 pm Eastern Time. You can access it from the Moments page of your Twitter app or by going to election.twitter.com.

3. Politico

Admittedly, Politico is a far more traditional choice than the other two. But they are one of the pioneers of online political writing, and they’ve stayed relevant by putting out great pieces. Their interactive map is a great tool to refresh if you’d rather stay up to speed while avoiding the talking heads and slews of projected outcomes. And it can be organized by categories including Presidential, Senate, and ballot measure results.

Politico will also have articles, relevant updates, and countdowns until polls open and close throughout the day. When you need a silent, reflective refuge from the onslaught of opinions and debates characteristic of the broadcast medium, Politico is a good bet.

We are a new blog intelligently reporting and analyzing current events through a leftist lens. We are trying to combat the digital media trends of clickbait and reporting with no substance. If you want to see more journalism like this, please like us on Facebook.