Crowdpac launched just over a year ago right before the 2014 midterm elections - a cycle which boasted the worst voter turnout in over 72 years. While this statistic was, and is, depressing, it made our mission all the more more critical: to help give democracy back to people through the power of data and technology.
Local elections in odd-numbered years are notorious for having even worse voter turnout. Without major national contests to generate interest or the inescapable megaphone of the national media, voters often choose to stay at home rather than sort through a series of local candidates and confusing ballot measures.
We saw this challenge as an opportunity and got to work in the cities of Philadelphia and San Francisco. We sought to replace that thick, stale, voter guide we're all used to receiving each election with something digital, customizable and data-driven.
Now that the dust has settled, we wanted to share some exciting results that provide a hopeful glimpse into what democracy can truly look like in the digital age.
Crowdpac's digital voting guide in San Francisco garnered over 60,000 visitors and 47,300 unique users - equivalent to over 23% of the total votes cast in the 2015 election. Nearly half of these users were under 35 years of age, a demographic notoriously difficult to mobilize in elections.
We're proud that this audience was not only large, but also highly engaged - generating nearly half a million page views and staying for long durations to consume election data and generate accounts. Given these statistics, it's no surprise that users of Crowdpac's ballot tool came within half a percentage point of predicting the exact margin of defeat for Proposition F.
In Philadelphia, where we piloted an initial version of our digital voter guide during the May primary, Crowdpac's ballot tool saw similarly high engagement with over 20,000 visits and 15,000 unique users - 36% of which were millennials.
We believe that data and technology have the power to transform our democracy and couldn't be more excited about these initial results. San Francisco and Philadelphia were just the beginning - we can't wait for what's in store in 2016.