VoteWithMe

Remind your friends to cast their vote 🗳️

#1 Product of the DaySeptember 15, 2018

See which friends live in swing districts and need your reminder to vote.

Discussion
Would you recommend this product?
4 Reviews5.0/5
Today we are launching a new version of VoteWithMe, our free, easy-to-use mobile app that lets you amplify your impact in the November election by finding and encouraging your like-minded friends to vote as well. It’s up and running and available now in the Apple and Android app stores. How it works: First we help you check your own registration status and vote history, because voting yourself is the first most important thing to do. Then, with your permission, we look up the voter data for the people you know, using your contact list. When we find someone, we show you relevant information about their local elections, their registration status, and *whether* they have voted in past elections. We’ll suggest text messages that might be appropriate to send to them. But we never put words in your mouth or send any messages without asking. You push the button yourself. We know, asking your friends to do things is awkward. That’s why it is so much more powerful than talking to strangers. We’ve done the science and found that messages from friends are about *twenty times more effective* at encouraging voter turnout than other common methods. You may have seen similar apps before, but you haven’t seen this one. We don’t force you to register with us or with any other group. We don’t put you on an email list, because we don’t have one. The app contains no ads, and we never ask you to donate money. You have to grant us permission to access your contact list, because looking up your contacts in the voter file is what the app does. And that’s the only thing it does. We do not permanently save your contacts, and they are not being sold to or shared with anyone. VoteWithMe is powered by public records that most people don’t realize are public. Campaigns have known this fact, and used these records, for decades, and sometimes have taken steps to prevent you from realizing it. We feel that as long as this data exists, regular people not on a political payroll should be able to see and use it too. VoteWithMe packages up a campaign back office and puts it in your hand, minus the empty pizza boxes and whiskey bottles. Trust us, VoteWithMe smells better. We don’t think anyone has done this before. We hope you like using VoteWithMe as much as our hundreds of UX interviews suggest you will. And if so, please, spread the word to your friends. Benjamin Franklin famously said to the people gathered on the steps outside Independence Hall that the new government was “a Republic, if you can keep it.” We can keep it a little longer, only if enough of us bother to vote. VoteWithMe can help.

Vote With Me matches your phone contacts with an excellent voter file and can show you who you need to turn out in any given election. Given the biggest problem in any election isn't registration, but just getting registered voters out to the polls, this is a crucial tool. It's also much better to get a message from a friend vs. a campaign. The crowdsourcing of who's been contacted through Vote With Me is also a great touch.

As someone who built this in 2011, but using Facebook friends, I know it's a great a tool, but it's up to passionate folks to use it and turn out their friends, it won't use itself. Get going.

Pros:

Easy to use, effective.

Cons:

It won't use itself, get going!

Why this avoids the data harvesting that most similar apps do: When I worked on the 2008 and 2012 campaigns to elect President Obama, data and technology were a critical part of how we won. In those innocent times, advertising to Prius owners on Facebook was edgy and innovative. Since then, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have pushed the boundaries and forced us to wonder where tailored marketing crosses over to unethical manipulation. You probably have mixed feelings about the data reach and mass surveillance used by political campaigns. So do we.
Cool app! I’ll use it to get all my friends to vote to keep the House and Senate and keep the economy roaring.
@stephenchip my thoughts exactly!
@stephenchip Most of us in civic tech are excited to get others to vote, regardless of who they vote for; we'll get better politics and better politicians if more people participate.
@putorti1 Not sure the maker would agree with you, if so, maybe share it on some conservative leaning sites?
@stephenchip great idea - letds use this for MAGA
@stephenchip totally agree with you Stephen!

It's a great way to see who in your friend sphere might be in a critical campaign and then gently nudge them (with your explicit permission) to vote. Yay!

Pros:

Easy to use! You get to see info about yourself too.

Cons:

Matching friends is sometimes a miss, but it's easy to work around.