In election season, choosing the right party or candidate for you can feel like an impossible task. You’re inundated with PR from all sides, and even traditional news outlets often have their own favourites. Hunter Scarborough wanted to find a simpler way of deciding who to vote for; and so he came up with the Voter app.
“I was working very long hours — 12 hour days, 14 hour days. When it came to an election, I didn’t have time to do research,” he tells Recode. “I was frustrated by the lack of objective information. I was at a loss. In the 21st century there’s got to be a way to take technology and make that process easier.”
As he tells it, Scarborough was inspired by the world of dating sites after a friend recommended he check out OK Cupid. One short week later, he had put together a mock-up of Voter.
Much like Tinder and other gamified matchmaking apps, Voter lets users swipe left and right in response to a series of yes-or-no questions. These questions quickly determine your stance on big issues like healthcare, military spending, and capital punishment, and present you with the candidate whose views most closely align with your own.
Voter originally launched last year and was limited to US presidential candidates, but the latest version (currently only available on iOS) now also helps voters make their decisions for Senator and Governor.
“Most political tools out there are made by politically engaged people, for politically engaged people,” says Scarborough. “That is the opposite of us. We synthesise all this complex stuff, so that on the surface it’s easy, but under the hood it’s complex.”