Becoming an informed voter is too difficult and time-consuming. Most voters are unable to view their complete ballot prior to visiting the polls, much less learn about their candidates and ballot measures. In addition, down-ballot candidates (which are 96% of all candidates in the US) have limited resources and expertise, and they experience great difficulty reaching voters in their district.
Voter's Friend is a non-partisan application for voters and candidates.
For voters, the site is like TurboTax for elections. Voters enter their zip/address to see their complete ballot, all the way down to the local level. Voters learn about the candidates, fill out their sample ballot, learn how to register and where to vote, and receive election reminders. They can also subscribe to candidates to receive campaign updates, volunteer and donation opportunities, etc. Our goal is to turn you into an informed voter in 10 minutes.
For candidates, Voter's Friend provides a digital platform to introduce yourself to highly likely voters in your district. In addition, by leveraging our engaged voter audience, we are able to provide digital campaign tools for candidates such as low-cost polling, canvassing, detailed analytics, the ability to message subscribers and accept donations, and more.
We are able to provide these services by aggregating data from across the web and from government agencies. We previously launched a beta test in Ohio for the 2012 election as proof of concept and will next be launching for the New York City primaries, which take place in September 2013. Currently, the site is live for New York City (try any address, in the Bronx especially as most election data has been entered there already), though we have just begun including data on candidates who will be running. Official candidate lists aren't even available until early July. The goal is to eventually aggregate data on all 200,000 candidates that run for office every year in the United States.
Our mission is to increase transparency and provide greater voters with enhanced, easy access to election information. Academic studies have shown that when voters are more informed, the quality of government drastically improves because candidates are held accountable and work harder to stay in office. We're taking a bottom-up, grassroots approach to improving our government.