The Union of Students in Ireland have partnered with Smartvote, a website referred to as ‘the Tinder of politics.’ Smartvote went live today.
The website asks the voter a series of questions on policy areas which include housing, the environment and abortion rights. The voter’s answers are then matched with candidates in their constituency, who have provided their own answers to the same questions. The website is similar to others such as Votomatic and Political Compass, but is the first one which matches voter preference with individual candidates instead of just parties. Unlike the others, Smartvote allows independent candidates a look in as well as parties. The website also links to checktheregister.ie, where anyone can check if they are registered to vote and download the application forms needed to register.
Founded in UCD’s Innovation Academy, it is hoped that Smarvote will be helpful to students in deciding their vote; Stemwijzer, a similar app from the Netherlands, is used by 80% of 18-25 year olds during election time. Smartvote was first used in the UCD Student Union elections last March, and then in the recent Carlow-Kilkenny by-election.
In a statement to Trinity News, USI president Kevin Donoghue said “It will revolutionise the General Election and the voting process. It’s quick, simple, easy-to-use and will educate the public on who their political candidates are, what they stand for and why they’re worthy of their vote. Lines can be blurred leading up to the General Election about where different political candidates stand on important issues. This app cuts through any confusion and gets straight to the point.”