Kendall Tucker has worked on political campaigns from the time she was 16, focusing on local and state races in her native Massachusetts and is convinced “connecting with voters can win any election.”
But there is one problem: almost all campaigns still send out volunteers armed with a clipboard with pages of homes they should visit. It’s an antiquated system, that requires mounds of paperwork, and takes hours to compile the data, which practically guarantees errors.
“I decided after knocking on a few thousand doors that there had to be a better way to do this,” says Tucker.
Her solution is Polis. Within minutes after downloading the app, a campaign volunteer can get a customized map of households in their own neighborhood, and start talking with voters.
“It makes volunteering a lot easier,” says Tucker, whose idea landed her on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list. “It removes so many of the barriers for people who want to support a particular candidate.”
Polis is just one product from a growing group of entrepreneurs who have an eye on disrupting the 2018 midterm elections. Most of the people behind these startups are Millennials, and many have worked on political campaigns or have run for office. (Tucker has done both, managing state senate races and winning a local race, in Boston.)
Many of these entrepreneurs are focusing on increasing voter participation. Like, Layla Zaidane, chief operating officer at the Millennial Action Project, they identify “partisan rancor” as the reason why “our elected representatives can’t seem to get anything done.”