Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
What is your mission?
Our mission is to simplify participation in democracy.
We built PollVault for people like ourselves: people who believe in democracy, people who want to do the right thing, but who find politics overwhelming, confusing, and disillusioning. We believe that in order for democracy to work as it was intended, voting should be simple, user-friendly and engaging for anyone and everyone.
PollVault lowers the barriers to participation in the political process by enabling anyone with an Internet connection, a few friends and a few minutes of time to start making voting decisions that better reflect their values.
PollVault is a non-partisan platform and we make every effort to maintain our neutrality.
How does PollVault work?
PollVault provides voters with a simple, customized and interactive digital ballot and allows them to choose up to 10 friends, public figures and/or organizations whose political views they trust to help vote their ballot. The result is a personalized dashboard that shows your ballot alongside the ballot choices of your friends and favorite advocacy groups, charities and celebrities on the site.
On voting day, PollVault users can either print out their ballot choices or use their smartphones to bring their digital ballots right into the voting booth using our web app. While actual online voting is not available yet, we hope PollVault is an important step towards making that a reality in the future.
What is an Advisor and how do I become one?
Advisors are PollVault users who are willing to share their ballot choices with others to help inform their ballot decisions. Anyone can become an Advisor on PollVault either by making their ballot public or by accepting an individual invitation to become someone’s advisor.
Advisors can be organizations, public figures (from political pundits to activists to well-known musicians or actors), or individuals.
If people tend to ask your advice on upcoming elections, congratulations - you’re already acting as an Advisor! By sharing your advice on PollVault, you now have single place to direct those seeking your well-informed points of view.
PollVault is also a great place for people seeking a platform to share their political views. By posting your positions and the rationale behind them, you create value for the PollVault community. In return, you gain followers, measured through your Political Clout score (see below for more information).
What is Political Clout & why is it important?
Advisors can measure their political influence via their Political Clout number, indicated by the “+” number under a user’s photo. The clout number presently represents the number of followers someone has; this will evolve over time to represent a user’s relative influence on the site.
The better crafted and more supported your arguments for your choices, the more people will look to you as an Advisor. And because each PollVault user can only follow 10 Advisors, being in someone’s top 10 is an honor. In a world where people regularly have 500 Facebook friends or 2000 Twitter followers, Political Clout on PollVault is a precious commodity that signifies true influence.
Please note that while you can only follow up to 10 Advisors, you may have as many followers as you are able to attract.
Where does your data come from?
We aggregate data from multiple sources. We purchase candidate and ballot measure data from a directory and data solutions firm called KnowWho, amended with data from wiki-sites such as Ballotpedia and Judgepedia. Endorsement data is sourced from public websites and entered by organizations themselves.
Why is my ballot incomplete?
PollVault’s long-term goal is to provide all voters with a complete and accurate digital version of their ballot. At present, we have aggregated over 200 ballot measures and 12,000+ candidates to provide you with the complete Federal and State executive and legislative ballots. We are now beginning to offer select judicial, special district, and local data. To find complete ballot information, please refer to your Secretary of State’s official election website. We are continuously striving to add and revise our existing ballot information as updates become available and/or as our users identify errors, and we appreciate your patience and partnership as we work together to bring voting into the 21st century!
Does PollVault have local ballot data?
We are including select county and local candidates and ballot measures for this election. If the pilot is successful, we plan to expand the program to encompass local measures and races nationally.
How do I point out an error I found on your site?
Why should I trust you?
Trust must be earned, which is why we allow anyone to use the site anonymously without signing in. If the site serves you well and proves worthy of your confidence, you can opt to sign in and provide as much or as little demographic data as you like to enhance our polling results.
PollVault was born from our own personal desire to get help voting our ballots so we could more effectively participate in our democracy. PollVault is strictly non-partisan. We naturally have our individual political leanings, so in our constant endeavor to make the platform equally useful for everyone, we welcome and act quickly on all feedback that shows us where we might be introducing bias into the site. If you are at all hesitant about using PollVault, we would love to hear why and address your concerns. Please use our feedback form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How is PollVault funded?
We are a small, mission-driven team of entrepreneurs who have been working together for several years to see our dream realized. Our customers are advocacy groups and get-out-the-vote organizations for whom we create branded white-label copies of our platform.
Are you selling my data?
We license our poll results, but we do not sell voter information. An example of the type of data we do share is the percentage of voters in each county who are in favor of gun rights. Candidates and organizations use this information to better reach potential supporters in those counties.