Voter co-founder Hunter Scarborough shares the vision and mission behind his new venture.
Give us the 140-character elevator pitch.
Voter is tinder for politics. Find out which 2016 candidates support the same things you do, and have a track record to back it up.
What problem does Voter solve?
Uninformed voters don’t vote, or worse, they do. Bias is present in the news and other media (82% of Americans do not trust the news media according to Gallup Poll).
Time-consuming research is currently the only alternative. According to a study by The Associated Press, the average attention span in 2015 is 8 seconds, 1 second less than a goldfish. No one has the time or patience to do their own political research. Voter turnout is at record lows (The last national election saw the lowest voter turnout in 72 years). According to Pew, 57% of 18-to-29 year olds get political news from social networking apps and nowhere else.
The stage is primed to engage millennials and younger generations on their turf.
What’s the story behind starting Voter?
Voter was founded by myself (Hunter Scarborough) and Suneil (Sonny) Nyamathi. During the 2012 presidential race, I became frustrated by how difficult it was to find political news sources I could trust. The only solution appeared to be labor-intensive personal research. Working 12+ hour days, I didn’t have the time.
During a local election in Los Angeles last year, I decided I had had enough. I looked at the wealth of raw political data becoming available, and realized there could be a much faster and more accurate way to become informed. I created the first prototype that week, and not long after, teamed up with Sonny to begin development on what would become Voter.
Fast forward several months later, and we just launched Voter in the App Store on Independence Day. :)
What are its key features?
Simply answer a few questions to find which candidates support the same things you do, and have a track record to back it up. We’ve designed an experience that is fast, fun and engaging, while the real magic happens under the hood. Our proprietary matching algorithm does all the heavy lifting, weighing millions of data points to find the perfect candidates for you.
To ensure the highest level of accuracy, we hold politicians accountable to their actions, analyzing candidates’ voting records, public agenda, personal views, speeches and more. We present this information as a percentage, describing how closely your views align with each candidate.
We have incredible partners and resources to automate the aggregation of all this data, including: GovTrack.us, the Sunlight Foundation, Google’s Civic API, OpenSecrets and Project Votesmart.
Currently, the app will match you to the presidential hopefuls who support your views, as well as political parties. We are working to add more elections, and plan to start curating local elections in Los Angeles this fall.
What are the costs, pricing plans?
Voter is free.
How can those interested connect with you?
- Website: voterapp.us
- Twitter: @Voter
- Facebook: facebook.com/voterapp
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Voter at iTunes