Election 2012: New app springing from Berkeley estimates financial impact on you, your community, the nation

Voters interested in what the November presidential election will mean for their own finances, and for those in their community and the nation as a whole, can get a clear visual picture from the latest update of the Politify website and app, created by UC Berkeley students and a big winner in last spring’s CITRIS Big Ideas contest.

Politify local sitePolitify launched during primary season, and now has taken its concept live for the general election. Its data-fed algorithms allow people to upload their basic financial information, click a button and see how much a win by Barack Obama or Mitt Romney would help or hurt their bottom line. Enter a zip code, and you can see how the population in a town would feel the results. And national impacts — including deficit projections — are available, too.

Politify, which went live during primary season and has now been updated, was founded by two UC Berkeley students:  Nikita Bier, who graduated in economics and business administration last spring, and Jeremy Blalock, the project’s lead engineer and a current student in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. Also involved are four other Berkeley students: Brad Voracek, a data scientist currently studying applied mathematics in economics and computer science; Dat Duong, another data scientist who is working toward his master’s in statistics; Mihir Deo, a policy analyst and communications manager, who is studying business and public policy; and Jamin Wong, an engineer who is a senior studying computer science.

Among their advisers are UC Berkeley professors who are two of the top economists in the country, Emmanuel Saez and Robert Reich.

The Politify website has more information. The project’s founders describe their concept in a video posted online.