Elect aims to simplify the process of participating in elections.
Nick Barnwell and I came around to the topic of voting, and realized that the difficulty of researching and making sense of ballot issues and candidates reduces voter participation. This effectively disenfranchises those without the time to commit to civic participation.
The development of Elect was data driven, starting with interviews and research spread over two weeks. We surveyed tens of people from twenty to sixty years of age about their perceptions of the electoral process and how it could be improved. We also examined prior e-voting efforts and initiatives to identify common trends and themes.
We ended up with Elect, an application that allows citizens to keep up-to-date on candidates and referenda easily.
Nick and I played the engineer-designer duo, respectively, and placed 2nd in the Intern AppHack during our time at Microsoft. That validation of our concept has given us the motivation to continue working on the project. We hope to have a publicly available version of Elect ready in time for the 2014 Primaries.