By @SimonCocking

Using technology to make an informed voting decision.

Smartvote originated in UCD’s Innovation Academy, to solve a problem of founder Keith Moore, ‘I had a problem in the local Elections.  I didn’t have time to research all 23 candidates and didn’t want to vote for a candidate just because they had a nice poster.  For the first time in my life I didn’t vote.  I thought to myself, there has to be an easier way to make an informed voting decision.’

Traditional canvassing tools certainly have their weaknesses.  Posters and banners tell you nothing about the candidates while flyers and manifestos typically end up in the bin.  Who has time to read them all?  TV and radio debates usually don’t work as there are too many candidates.

Smartvote works by asking your opinion on 30 topical issues.  The app then matches you with the candidates who best represent your views.

The first pilot was developed for the recent UCD Student Union Elections in March after a vast amount of research by the Smartvote team.  Out of 2000 students who used the application, 83% gave feedback that they would use it for the General Election.

Smartvote has just gone live for the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election. Of the thirteen candidates running, twelve support the initiative 100%.  Indeed, Malcolm Noonan of the Green Party has proclaimed that “Smartvote is the future of political campaigning”.

Co-founder Gordon Rose explains why SmartVote works so well: “It encourages people to engage in an election.  We do the hard work so the voters don’t have to. Users can get up to speed on the issues and candidates in just 5-10 minutes, about the same time it takes to read one manifesto.”

Smartvote has recently been shortlisted for the highly competitive Elevator awards run by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.  While it will be rolled out in every constituency for the General Election next year, voters can use it now to compare the candidates of the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election at www.SmartVote.ie/App. Be amongst the first to
experience it and decide if it really is the future of politics in Ireland!

Here is link to our Facebook page www.facebook.com/smartvote.ie
Our Twitter link is www.twitter.com/smartvoteie
Here is the link to our explainer video http://youtu.be/R-Qkfi8I3qM
Here is the link to our app www.smartvote.ie/app

 

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