SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Brigade, the world's first network for voters, today announced the nationwide availability of the most comprehensive social ballot guide ever built, now available at brigade.com/ballot and as a free download in the Apple App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android. With less than a month until Election Day, this first of its kind election tool provides personalized recommendations for more than 13,000 federal and state races and ballot propositions based on social connections with friends, neighbors and political influencers in users' voting districts.
Brigade's latest release offers real-time map-based visualizations of who's leading races across the country as measured by users' vote pledges. Users can recruit vote pledges for their favorite candidates and ballot propositions using an intelligent inviter tool and compete with other voters to earn points on race-specific leaderboards. The top recruiter by Election Day will win a trip to Washington, D.C. for the Presidential Inauguration in January 2017.
Users who recruit vote pledges are eligible to join the Brigade Precinct Captains Challenge, a fun way to campaign for their favorite candidates and ballot propositions and ensure family, friends and neighbors vote smarter when they go to the polls November 8. Participants get a personalized dashboard that tracks recruiting activity and a toolkit that makes collecting vote pledges easy. In addition to the grand prize, daily and weekly winners will be awarded gift cards and other valuable prizes.
"The most important election of our lifetime is upon us and it's crucial that Americans know who they can vote for and whether politicians running for office will represent their best interests in the White House, on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures from coast to coast," said Brigade co-founder and CEO Matt Mahan. "We've done the hard work of combining reams of government data and complex voter-matching algorithms to deliver consumers a simple tool to spur peer-to-peer interactions that can drive real-world voter turnout."
In the final days leading up to the election, Brigade will send social GOTV ("get out the vote") notifications to users, reminding them of their shared commitments to vote. After the election, Brigade will be the first consumer tech company to integrate with official voter records held by each state to determine which voters on the platform followed through on their commitments and which candidates, messages and channels were most effective at driving turnout.
"Offline field experiments demonstrate that voter turnout can be significantly affected by social pressure," said Donald P. Green, Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and one of the country's foremost researchers on the ways in which political campaigns mobilize and persuade voters. "The next frontier in voter turnout research lies in understanding how online social networks and social pressure affect voter behavior."
Users who were granted early access to Brigade's new ballot tool have already pledged almost 100,000 votes for candidates from the top of the ticket to important yet frequently overlooked down-ballot races. During the same test period, Brigade helped voters ask more than 400,000 of their friends to pledge votes for candidates and ballot propositions.
Today's launch is a major advancement of the social, civic engagement platform Brigade first made available in beta last summer. Since that time, the company has built and released tools to help its fast-growing community of users make sense of their voting districts; see how they compare to fellow voters and politicians who represent them; and engage in robust debates and discussions about issues that matter to them.
Brigade is a tech startup founded in 2014 to tackle the problem of declining citizen power and engagement in our democracy. The company, which raised a $9.5MM Series A from investors led by Sean Parker, Marc Benioff, and Ron Conway, is building easy and effective ways for people to declare their beliefs, organize with others, and take action to shape the elections and policies affecting their lives. Get Brigade at brigade.com, in the App Store or on Google Play.
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