motivote is a new digital platform that makes voting fun, social and easy — so young people actually do it. We help friends keep their social circles accountable for voting to increase turnout and ensure elected officials better represent the constituents they’re supposed to serve. Research-proven behavioral insights get individuals to the voting booth, filling a critical gap in the vote mobilization landscape.
Increasing young voter turnout is a must for changing the face of American democracy. Only 20% of 18-29 year-olds turned out in the last midterm elections, vs. 40% of all Americans and 60% of those age 60+. Unequal representation means unequal influence, and representatives don't reflect the constituents they're supposed to serve.
How does motivote work? Groups of friends form teams. Each player commits to vote, backed by a monetary pledge. Players compete and earn rewards while completing customized action steps as they prepare to vote. Come election day, if every player on a team votes, no one on the team is charged their pledge amount. If even one player doesn’t vote, every player’s pledge goes to a pre-selected nonprofit.
Exciting results from our early tests: When we piloted the tool in New York’s June 2018 primary elections, 87% of eligible users voted—compared to only 12% of voters overall. Our model brought unlikely voters into the fold, and closed the gap in turnout rates between voters over and under 30.
motivote’s business model offers mission-aligned PACs, campaigns and nonprofits a cost-effective mobilization tool that reaches young people where they actually are, while corporate partners gain visibility by sponsoring motivote at colleges.
We’re passionate about turning our idea into a successful new venture. Emily Graham, Rachel Konowitz and Jess Riegel, who met at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, have spent almost two years developing motivote. Last summer, we participated in the NYU Summer Launchpad Accelerator, where we gained immeasurable insights and advice to help us move forward. motivote incorporated in spring 2018 as a C-corp.
Our fundraising goal of $15,000 will support our technology, operations and capacity-building efforts as we work to increase voter turnout. Our next milestone is to engage 10,000 voters in 20 states nationwide for the upcoming midterm elections. Your donation will support our first hires of a full-time engineer and seasonal college organizers along with the development of our mobile app.
Young people can change the face of democracy, but only if they actually vote. motivote is here to make that happen. Thank you for your support in helping us #MakeAmericaVoteAgain!
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