Votr is a new app designed to make politics appealing to the smartphone generation. It was developed by Scott Cohen, CEO of news outlet Vocativ, with the US November 2014 midterm elections in mind, inviting users to evaluate the 161 candidates competing for the 36 open US Senate seats. Based on easy to answer questions, a simple swipe left or right was all that was needed for the voter to map their preferred policies to the candidates. The app covered all candidates, not just those with the highest profile.
Votr begins by asking users 15 questions – relating to a wide range of issues such as the environment, pets and abortion. The two possible answers to each question are given as ‘emojis’, and then fed into an algorithm which works out your political matches. Once these are found, more information is revealed about the candidates: a photograph, a fun fact about them and a simple listing of their views.
The rise of such apps illustrates the changing face of politics thanks to civil engagement via digital media. The Partisan app is another example, which allows consumers to monitor the political leanings of the owners of food brands.