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Local elections never attract the largest crowds, but in last year's municipals in France, just 13 percent of voters aged 18-24 turned out to cast their ballot.
To boost the turnout for this year's presidential elections, four young entrepreneurs launched Elyze — an app that works like Tinder to help potential voters find their ideal candidate.
Elyze serves up a host of statements on current political topics. Users swipe right if they agree with a policy statement and left if they don't. Based on how they respond, the app ranks which candidates best match their own point of view. To dive deeper, users can view each candidate's dating-like profile, which includes both personal details and their views on a variety of issues.
Elyze isn't the first voting advice app to apply Tinder gestures. In the US, now defunct Voter allowed US voters to swipe their way to a candidate back in 2016. But the French app seems to have tapped into a need — two weeks after launching, it reached 1 million downloads. [Update, 19 Jan 2022 — Elyze suffered a security breach.]
As traditional news outlets lose eyeballs, democracies are seeking alternative ways to reach and inform (potential) voters, whether that's on apps like Elyze or on TikTok. But many younger citizens are politically engaged beyond elections, and turned off by politicians who aren't taking urgent action on the climate crisis.
They expect change not just from political parties, but from every actor in society, and are more likely to vote with their wallets than with their ballots. As a brand, how can you embrace and support that desire to make a positive impact? And for those in favor of democracy, are you ensuring that every citizen knows their voice needs to be heard?
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