Other Group

Vote With Me

Website:

votewithme.us

Type:

Voter Mobilization App

Project of:

New Data Project

Founded:

2017

Vote With Me developed VoteWithMe, an app that promotes get-out-the-vote operations catering to left-leaning organizations. Vote With Me is a project of the New Data Project.

Background

Vote With Me is a get-out-the-vote app that allows users to access the voting information of contacts on their cell phones. It was developed by the left-of-center nonprofit New Data Project. [1]

Vote with Me was launched in October 2017 for specific areas and was updated for the entire United States by September 2018. [2]

Although the app is available to anyone, Vote With Me executives said upon its founding in 2018 that the goal was to increase turnout among young Democrats. [3] The registered developer’s name was Flip the House. [4] Also, a news release said, “Vote with Me helps you increase voter turnout for Team Blue.” [5]

In 2018, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, promoted the Vote With Me App to her 4 million followers on Instagram. [6]

Sorting Contacts

The Vote With Me App accesses the contact list on a user’s phone, checks names against public voter registration information, and finds people in a swing state that could be convinced to vote for Democratic candidates. It also shows whether the contact voted in previous elections. [7]

The app can also pinpoint contacts with a flame emoji to indicate the contact lives in a district with a close election. [8]

Vote With Me obtains its information by paying a commercial entity that does work for campaigns for a licensed set of records. The New Data Project has argued that campaigns have used the same data for decades and that “regular people not on a political payroll should be able to see and use it, too.” Vote With Me suggests text message content designed to persuade contacts to vote, but the user can also personalize the message. [9] Users of the app will find friends and contacts listed as “D” or “R,” short for Democrat or Republicans next to the name of their contact on the phone. [10]

The app says it will delete the information from its data once provided to the user and promises not to sell the data of the contact or advertise to contacts. [11]

Creators

Mikey Dickerson is a former Google engineer. He was also the first head of the U.S. Digital Services and led the Obama administration’s team to save HealthCare.gov after its disastrous launch in 2013.  Dickerson and fellow U.S. Digital Service official Sarah Sullivan and others from the team founded the New Data Project in 2017. Dickerson is the executive director and Sullivan is the deputy executive director. [12]

The nonprofit group established the Vote With Me app. [13]

The New Data Project says it has done research showing a message from a friend is 20 times more effective in getting someone to vote than advertising, mailers, or door-to-door canvassing by campaigns. [14] The principle derives from a school of research known as “social pressure voting.” Dickerson has said that social pressure tactics “create conditions where the norm can emerge where your friends will notice and be surprised if you didn’t vote in the election.” [15]

Acknowledging the awkward nature of the information gathering, Dickerson has said, “Establishing the social norm of voting is important enough that a little bit of discomfort is warranted.” [16]

References

  1. Singer, Natasha. “Did You Vote? Now Your Friends May Know (and Nag You).” New York Times. November 4, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/04/us/politics/apps-public-voting-record.html ^
  2. Fishman, Glenn. “Your Mother, Your Plumber, Your Boss—This App Tells You Their Voting Records and Party Affiliations.” Fortune. November 1, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://fortune.com/2018/11/01/vote-with-me-app-reveals-voting-history-friends-party-affiliations/ ^
  3. Singer, Natasha. “Did You Vote? Now Your Friends May Know (and Nag You).” New York Times. November 4, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/04/us/politics/apps-public-voting-record.html ^
  4. Fishman, Glenn. “Your Mother, Your Plumber, Your Boss—This App Tells You Their Voting Records and Party Affiliations.” Fortune. November 1, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://fortune.com/2018/11/01/vote-with-me-app-reveals-voting-history-friends-party-affiliations/ ^
  5. Fishman, Glenn. “Your Mother, Your Plumber, Your Boss—This App Tells You Their Voting Records and Party Affiliations.” Fortune. November 1, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://fortune.com/2018/11/01/vote-with-me-app-reveals-voting-history-friends-party-affiliations/ ^
  6. Cauterucci, Christina. “The App That Tells You Your Friends’ Voting History Is Kind of Creepy and Really Dysfunctional.” Slate. November 6, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://slate.com/technology/2018/11/vote-with-me-app-friends-shaming.html ^
  7. Sullivan, Mark. “These Social Canvassing Apps Might Help Get Democratic Voters off the Couch This November.” Fast Company. September 19, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://www.fastcompany.com/90237382/these-social-canvassing-apps-might-help-get-democratic-voters-off-the-couch-this-november ^
  8. Fishman, Glenn. “Your Mother, Your Plumber, Your Boss—This App Tells You Their Voting Records and Party Affiliations.” Fortune. November 1, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://fortune.com/2018/11/01/vote-with-me-app-reveals-voting-history-friends-party-affiliations/ ^
  9. Sullivan, Mark. “These Social Canvassing Apps Might Help Get Democratic Voters off the Couch This November.” Fast Company. September 19, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://www.fastcompany.com/90237382/these-social-canvassing-apps-might-help-get-democratic-voters-off-the-couch-this-november ^
  10. Childer, Juliet. “Vote With Me app Makes Phone Contact Party Identification Easy.” Edgy. November 1, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://edgy.app/vote-with-me-app ^
  11. Fishman, Glenn. “Your Mother, Your Plumber, Your Boss—This App Tells You Their Voting Records and Party Affiliations.” Fortune. November 1, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://fortune.com/2018/11/01/vote-with-me-app-reveals-voting-history-friends-party-affiliations/ ^
  12. Williams, Elliot. “These Former Obama Appointees Made an App to Get You to Vote—And It’s Actually Effective.” Washingtonian. October 18, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://www.washingtonian.com/2018/10/18/vote-with-me-digital-service-mikey-dickerson-sarah-sullivan-midterms-november/ ^
  13. Sullivan, Mark. “These Social Canvassing Apps Might Help Get Democratic Voters off the Couch This November.” Fast Company. September 19, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://www.fastcompany.com/90237382/these-social-canvassing-apps-might-help-get-democratic-voters-off-the-couch-this-november ^
  14. Fishman, Glenn. “Your Mother, Your Plumber, Your Boss—This App Tells You Their Voting Records and Party Affiliations.” Fortune. November 1, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://fortune.com/2018/11/01/vote-with-me-app-reveals-voting-history-friends-party-affiliations/ ^
  15. Boydston, Morgan. “Personal info shared in Idaho Democratic Party mailer, ‘Vote with Me’ app irks some voters.” KTVB. October 30, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/politics/voter-guide/personal-info-shared-in-idaho-democratic-party-mailer-vote-with-me-app-irks-some-voters/277-609764225 ^
  16. Notopoulos, Katie. “The Vote With Me App Looks Up Your Contacts’ Voting Records.” BuzzFeed. October 29, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2022. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/katienotopoulos/vote-with-me-app-friends-registered-vote-privacy ^
  See an error? Let us know!