U.S. Building Trust Prize

Civic Participation
Open Data
Voter Information

Share this


Contact information


IssueVoter: bridging the divide between lawmakers and constituents 


The Problem
Despite being a representative democracy, "we the people’s” voices remain unheard due to the complexities of the legislative process and the lack of knowledge on how to engage with decision-makers. These barriers to civic engagement disproportionately affect younger generations, low-income families, and communities of color.  

Furthermore, Congress's approval ratings have not surpassed 30% within the last ten years, while over 90% are reelected. Voters tend not to know their elected officials – much less what decisions are made.  

A strong democracy requires access to policymaking, empowering constituents to be truly heard. However, legislation is written in lengthy legalese, inaccessible to the public. In the next session of Congress, over 20,000 bills will be introduced, yet most Americans will only hear about a handful.  

The Approach
IssueVoter launched the day after the 2016 U.S. election asking, "you voted, now what?" It is a free, nonpartisan platform that informs Americans of legislation affecting issues they care about, sends their opinions to lawmakers, and helps them see how often they are truly represented.  

IssueVoter makes information accessible and actionable with customized alerts before Congress votes and translates bills into layman's terms with points from both sides. 

It is the only nonpartisan platform that provides a personalized representative scorecard, helping individuals hold elected officials accountable and become more informed voters in the next election. 

How it Works 


  • Sends alerts about bills, customized to the issue(s) each individual cares about 

  • Summarizes bills in jargon-free, nonpartisan language, including opinions from both sides. 

  • With a single click, allows individuals to send their opinions directly to their representatives before Congress votes. 

  • Tracks and reports how Congress votes, generating a scorecard that shows each user how their opinions align with their representatives' votes. 

IssueVoter also partners with nonprofits and universities to create a personalized experience, provide a tool to send opinions to Congress, engage communities year-round, and track impact. 

The Impact

  • People are using IssueVoter in all 435 U.S. Congressional Districts   

  • The platform has sent over five million alerts to individuals and opinions to Congress. 

  • As a result of using IssueVoter: 

    • 90% increased their civic knowledge. 
    • 84% felt a closer connection to their current representative. 
    • 74% were exposed to new viewpoints. 
    • 37% were motivated to vote in the first place.
    • 83% engaged in additional civic actions.  
    • 89% saw legislation for the first time that they didn't otherwise know about 
    • 33% changed which candidate they voted for in a primary or general election 

The Future
IssueVoter plans to grow by expanding programming, people, and product offerings. This includes: adding language translations (to better serve the 67 million in the U.S. who do not speak English at home); covering local legislation; launching a mobile app; expanding civic education programming; conducting academic research on impact with scholars; and growing partnerships with colleges and universities.