Hi. I'm Steve, a Seattle voter. I started Alignvote in 2019
as a free civic project after attending several candidate forums across the city. I noticed a few things. First, there's a contingent of folks who do follow city politics very closely, but by and large, many of my fellow Seattleites do not. Local politics can be complex but extremely consequential. Many do not have the time to understand what some of the big issues are in the election cycle, and too many voters guide statements are written like horoscopes: it's easy to read into them what you'd like.
I'm a Seattle moderate
who has some technology skills
and a bit of time on my hands. So this side-project is all about making a bit easier for you
to quickly identify those candidates who are closest to your own views
on issues. You can, in effect, build your own endorsement guide. You can get involved. Or at the very least, you'll be able to more quickly see where you and the various candidates agree and disagree, which might lead to further thinking and discussion. I am very happy if you use this platform to quickly identify any
candidate, very much including the ones I might not align with.
Alignvote™ is a free and easy way for you to find those candidates most closely aligned with you on a few policy questions. But policy stances and plans aren't the only reasons you should consider voting for someone. Other factors which may matter to you include experience, life's story, plans beyond the scope of these questions, leadership style, identity group, their demonstrated successes or failures elsewhere, and much more.
Make no mistake, there is a human behind Alignvote, and, just as most writers (even political writers) do, I have opinions
on candidates, including those running for office in the Seattle 2021 elections. I've written for Post Alley
, a Seattle journal. I write on my own blog
. But as for Alignvote, I make every effort to ensure that this platform represents candidate positions correctly and clearly, using questions already asked and answered on the record from various sources. By nature of the platform, all questions are closed-end questions -- i.e., multiple-choice. But Alignvote also offers offers candidates unfiltered access to voters via optional elaborations
, to get their message out when they are pondering their choices. No response in Alignvote provided by a campaign is filtered or withheld from voters in any way.
Alignvote uses a simple distance score to calculate rankings, weighted by the importance YOU set for each question. There's a very easy integrity-check we encourage all campaigns that have completed the Alignvote survey to do: simply go to another browser, and pretend you're a voter that agrees with you. You will rank #1 -- or tied for #1, if another candidate agrees precisely with you. Further, every single voter-candidate ranking is logged with a unique URL. You can share any URL with that any session that you think returns results not in line with where candidates actually stand (and you should reach out to us immediately if you spot any such discrepancy.)