ElectNext launched this week as an “eHarmony for voters” site. Graduating from the Fall 2011 class of DreamIt Ventures, the startup is releasing out of beta and provides users with the opportunity to fit their personal beliefs, values and interests to those of the actual political candidates in the latest election. ElectNext celebrated its launch at Tedx Philly as a featured presenter with a follow up party at National Mechanics.
Founded by Penn Wharton, Paul Jungwirth and Keya Dannenbaum, ElectNext is an upgrade from the political quizzes the public is acquainted to. The site elicits its questions from experts who are bipartisan. These experts include professors from Penn, Princeton and Harvard.
To sign up, users can connect through their accounts on Facebook or Twitter. Once signed in, they are suggested to rank the issues on national security, economy, education, immigration, gun control, gay rights, abortion, foreign policy, energy, healthcare, environment, and taxes according to personal relevance.
Afterwards, the quiz commences with a minimum of six questions for a user to have a suggested candidate. With more questions answered, more chances for a better matching political candidate. Additional suggested candidates for U.S. representatives and senators can also be shown once users enter their zip code. These results can easily be shared on Twitter, Facebook or via email.
One disadvantage for the site though is that the questions do not have supplemental details on its own. It is assumed that the users have sufficient knowledge about the current events on all the issues involved in the series. There is a “learn more” section that is reliant to users of the site in providing additional information on the topic. This specifically requests them to submit advantages and disadvantages of every issue. Considering that the site has only been live this week, there are virtually no content on the learn more area. For people who are clueless about whom to vote, additional on hand information about the issues would be more helpful.
For voters who are already sure about their bets, this site may be a reinforcement of their already chosen candidates. More significantly, this site can provide valuable information for on the fence voters.