Votecational , DifferenceMakers
Fan Favorite award at the 11th Annual DifferenceMaker $50,000 Idea Challenge
Votecatonal won the Fan Favorite award at the 2023 $50,000 Idea Challenge, a $1,000 prize. Team leader, Dawson Durgin, is a sophomore mechanical engineering student who became passionate about voter education after discovering the flaws regarding how voters gather information on politicians during elections. He realized that much of the information on the internet was biased or contained information and wording that was difficult for the average person to understand. Dawson is accompanied by three teammates, Mark O’Neil, mechanical engineering, Emily Giron, international business and marketing, and Aidan Keefe.
Votecational is a non-bias informational platform, which allows voters to receive crucial information regarding elections. This platform will benefit users and political figures. Voters will benefit from a clear understanding of what's at stake, and campaigns will be able to get their message out without massive amounts of spending on advertising. Additionally, the platform will consist of an app, website, and newsletter that provides users with information on where to register and vote, and mail-in ballot information. Furthermore, the platform will provide breakdowns of bills and candidates including policies, verified facts, and experience/accomplishments. Users will be able to track progress updates for candidates that also display goals they accomplish, and, for a premium, have the option for petitions and citizen concerns. Team Votecational is currently working to develop an online platform and will use the $1,000 award for research and development. They hope to be sustained long-term by maintaining the app/website and expanding to other states and individual counties, before potentially taking the app globally.