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Impact Profile: BallotReady

A healthy democracy relies on voters making informed decisions. There has never been a reliable repository of information on all 500,000+ candidates running for every office in every state. It is no wonder that close to 30% of voters often leave down-ballot candidate decisions blank. BallotReady is here to change all of that. 

By simply inputting your basic information into BallotReady’s platform, you are instantly granted non-partisan information about every ballot initiative and candidate all the way down the ballot, including their biographical information, policy preferences, and endorsements. You can directly compare candidates, save your preferences to take into the voting booth with you, and even share your voting decisions with your peers. 

In 2018, BallotReady single-handedly informed over 8.0 million American voters on the issues and candidates on their ballots for the midterms. Voters reviewed 35 million races and 7.4 million ballot initiatives, and the BallotReady team collected information on 95,000 candidates.  

BallotReady helped approximately 20% of Chicago’s 2018 voters make a plan to vote for the Midterms. BallotReady now aims to serve over 50 million American voters by 2020, while continuing to provide digital tools to advocacy groups to mobilize and engage voters for every race. 

BallotReady is a gateway for new voters to prepare to take political action. In 2018, 33% of the website’s visitors were between 25 and 34 years old, reflecting the clear desire for digital information among younger voters. 

Online political engagement tools are on the rise and young voters are clearly responding to them. In 2014, 20% of voters aged 18-29 turned out for the midterm election. In 2018, the number jumped to 36%, the largest increase for any age group. BallotReady’s sharing function, which allows users to share their voting decisions with peers, takes advantage of the same social pressures that contributed to Facebook’s and Instagram’s prominence and has proven to directly impact a voter’s likelihood of turning out.

Thus, while we are still far away from achieving a markedly higher scope of political engagement, tools like BallotReady that do the heavy-lifting for us, have already demonstrated the benefits of taking the push for voter education online.