Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) today announced some exciting and additional features that would enhance the election coverage presently provided through its page, The Ticket.

Yahoo election

In its news release, Yahoo offers a socially enhanced experience during the 2012 elections. In addition, sophisticated convention coverage is proposed with video programming that would be anchored by Newsmakers from Yahoo! and ABC News.

Programming efforts will ensure that the Ticket will provide coverage “during the final months leading up to the U.S. Elections on November 6 including #HashOut, a social program focused on sparking debate, a new election night control room, and six new video shows dedicated to convention coverage. These new programs aim to drive dynamic conversations about the political and economic issues facing the nation, offer an expanded view from the convention floor, and deliver even more first-source reporting from the campaign trail, inside the Beltway, and beyond. Building on the success of Yahoo!’s multi-faceted election coverage thus far, these new initiatives are designed to further engage and activate Yahoo! News’ audience of more than 80 million users,” says the release from Yahoo.

The changes proposed clearly intend to build on the comprehensive election coverage that has already impressed audiences of Yahoo!

According to Robertson Barrett, Vice President of News & Finance at Yahoo, the intention is to offer more premium content, and to host the company’s first ever event at the national conventions. All these are likely to deliver the most “exciting, comprehensive, and immersive election night experience online.”

A special feature will be #Hashout. This will launch next week and is a social engagement program which will stimulate a daily debate between a Yahoo panel and the audience. The panel could include industry leaders, experts, and journalists. The audience could connect with newsmakers such as Maria Shriver, Donna Brazile, Abby Huntsman, and Damon Lindelof.

The Election Control room is another innovative feature that lets the user customize his election experience, and will include live video and up-to-the-minute results and maps, along with live blogging through a modern platform.

Special video programming, covering the conventions, will commence August 27, and the shows include:

  • “#HashOut: On Location”: Hosted by New York Times best-selling author Baratunde Thurston, this is shot on and around the floor of each convention and will conduct interviews with noted personalities
  • “Just Explain It: Political Edition”: Hosted by David Chalian, Washington Bureau Chief for Yahoo! News, the show will analyze key election issues like immigration, medicare, and taxes.
  • “Just Explain It: Historical Moments”: Hosted by Jeff Greenfield, veteran political journalist and columnist for Yahoo! News this show will retrospect on the most historic moments of national political conventions throughout United States history.
  • Live Convention Coverage: Co-hosted by Yahoo! News Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian and ABC News political director Amy Walter, this LIVE coverage will capture convention highlights in a roundtable discussion.
  • “Newsmakers Live”: Co-hosted by Yahoo! News and ABC News, Yahoo! will stream a LIVE version of the hit video program “Newsmakers” at the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions.
  • “Who Knew? Convention Edition”: The Yahoo! News original program “Who Knew?” will provide two special episodes that discuss in-depth the conventions traditions.

All the above is being made possible under the leadership of new appointees, Editor-In-Chief Hillary Frey and Washington Bureau Chief, David Chalian. Other high profile new hires for Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) are Virginia Heffernan, contributors Walter Shapiro and Jeff Greenfield, and Yahoo! News’ first-ever White House correspondent, Olivier Knox.

There is a new spirit visible here, and a drive to ramp up topical content in Yahoo. Could all this have something to do with a certain new appointee from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)?

Certainly Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s new CEO, is known to be targeting enhancement of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s social media business and the thrust on social programming in the election coverage above is testimony to that. Mayer is reportedly planning to hire Katie Jacobs Stanton, head of International Markets of Twitter, to assist in these efforts.