Originating from UCD's Innovation Academy, SmartVote is a new app that has the potential to help the public engage in upcoming elections and make an informed decision when voting.
While traditional canvassing tools such as posters and flyers can be effective, the SmartVote works by asking the user's opinion on 30 topical issues. The app then matches the individual with the candidates who best represent their views.
 
Founder of SmartVote, Keith Moore, explains that his frustration and lack of time to research local election candidates led him to create the app.

"I had a problem in the Local Elections. I didn't have time to research all 23 candidates and didn't want to vote for a candidate just because they had a nice poster," he explains.

"For the first time in my life, I didn't vote. I thought to myself, there has to be an easier way to make an informed voting decision," he added. 
 
The first pilot of the app was developed for the most recent UCD Students' Union Elections in March. 
 
Research showed that out of 2,000 students who used the application, 83% revealed that they 
would use it during a General Election. Malcolm Noonan of the Green Party has also claimed that the SmartVote is "the future of political campaigning". 
 
Co-founder Gordon Rose explains why SmartVote works so well: “It encourages people to engage in an election. We do the hard work so the voters don’t have to. Users can get up to speed on the issues and candidates in just 5-10 minutes, about the same time it takes to read one manifesto.” 
 
SmartVote has also recently been shortlisted for the highly competitive Elevator awards run by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.
 
For more information about the app, just click here.