Handley's $10k winner makes youth voting app a reality

Handley's $10k winner makes youth voting app a reality

Hannah Duder, the winner of a $10,000 seed grant offered as part of Derek Handley's Shoulder Tap initiative, has used the money to bring her idea for a Tinder-like youth voting tool to life.

Duder, also the campaign manager for the recently established Virgin Voter Collective (VVC), launched the responsive web app Candidate during the weekly market day at AUT's student square in Auckland.

Auckland Central is one of nine electorates where less than 60 percent of the eligible voting population aged 18-24 have enrolled to vote, VVC says.

Using Candidate, potential youth voters are shown a policy, but not the party it belongs to. They can find out more about the policy, then like or dislike it. Once this is done for a series of policies, users find their party 'match' ahead of the general election on 20 September.

"My idea is it's a first impression for someone who doesn't really have an idea at all," says Duder.

She carried out an online survey of 18-24 year olds to find out the policies this age group wanted to know about, then asked parties for their policies in 160 characters or fewer. Those formed the basis of what's in the app.

Duder adds people can visit the Virgin Voter Collective site to find out more about party policy. Members of the collective are Action Station, Ask Away, Candidate, Design and Democracy, Generation Zero, On the Fence and Rockenrol.

The $10,000 seed funding was used on the app's development by Auckland company The Common Room.

Duder says Candidate could be used for local body decision making after the general election, but that Virgin Voter Collective is more likely to endure.

Duder was one of 100 shortlisted to work with Handley as part of The Shoulder Tap, an initiative to find people to help with social entrepreneurship projects.

Handley recently chose Rebecca Milne and Nick Winstone to become partners and chief operators at his foundation.