Once quoted as being the "The Startup That's Trying to Make It Easier to Figure Out What the Hell You're Actually Voting On", BallotReady are evolving, and quickly!
We were lucky to catch up with co-founder and current COO Aviva Rosman to find out where they came from and where they are hoping to go.
Ciara: What inspired you to create BallotReady?
Aviva: In 2014, I ran for very local office in Chicago and reached out to everyone I knew to come vote for me. One of my friends from college, Alex, agreed, but said, “I didn’t even know there was an election.”
I ended up winning - with 96 votes - but Alex and I kept talking about the problem of local elections.
C: You guys have seen phenomenal growth since 2015, what are some of the key strategies that have helped you gain this success?
A: I think the fact that we’re solving a real problem for voters has helped us grow. Voters want to vote informed and providing a source of information that’s nonpartisan and comprehensive has proved to be something that voters want to use and want to share.
C: As a nonpartisan company operating in the US, what are some of the key obstacles you come up against when talking to potential voters or campaigns?
A: Being nonpartisan is very important to us in order to provide a trustworthy source to every voter in the country. We see our role as providing democracy’s data so we’re very purposeful about ensuring we’re very clear about the way we collect our information, the ways in which we display it on our voters guides, and the ways in which we operate as a company.
C: With 2020 being such a big year in the US, what are some of the goals for the team at BallotReady?
A: We have a huge opportunity in 2020. Our goal is to create voter guides for every candidate and ballot measure nationwide and inform 50 million voters.
C: As a female operating in the political sphere, was the US midterms in 2018 a boost? Seeing many more women, not only winning Congress seats, but also getting more involved behind the scenes in other aspects of campaign operations.
A: Both politics and tech in the U.S. are male-dominated although I do think both are changing. As female-founders, we’ve encountered some sexism but also had the opportunity to meet some really awesome female entrepreneurs, investors, and candidates.
C: Last question, have any candidate for the US Presidential campaign caught your attention yet?
A: We’re excited to cover all of them!
Listening to our current users, we are aware that there can be an internal struggle of team management when it comes to organizing quickly. To get people out on doors, the back and forth over Whatsapp, Messenger, and (insert other apps here) can be endless. We aim to streamline this process for you with Ecanvasser. Now organizers can commit via the Walk app (their canvassing app!) and get notified in the run-up to the event so that they don’t forget. By building it into the door knocking process life has gotten a lot easier for campaign managers.