TurboVote, an up-and-coming startup, wants to become the “Netflix of voting” by revolutionizing voter registration and vote by mail via the Internet and snail mail.
The concept is simple: Users fill out voter registration or vote by mail forms on their Internet browser, then TurboVote prints an official document based on that data. TurboVote sends users a paper copy through snail mail along with an envelope pre-printed with the address of each user’s local voter election board — very much how Netflix’s original business model works.
Once a user gets the form and envelope, all they’ve got to do is sign the form, stuff it in the envelope and drop it in the mail.
But that’s not all: TurboVote also send users text message reminders when registration or voting deadlines are approaching to remind them to get their paperwork in the mail. Reminders are sent for elections at every level of government, including local, state and federal.
While several states have passed laws allowing citizens to reigster to vote online, the majority have yet to get on board with the concept.
Seth Flaxman, 27, co-founded TurboVote after getting frustrated at the process of voting by mail while he was studying at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Like many other digital entrepreneurs, Flaxman built TurboVote to solve his own problem. He believes the voting process is antiquated and ripe for digital disruption.
“When you want to do anything else, you start online — except for voting,” said Flaxman. “I think the future of voting is seamless mail-in voting. The ballot will come automatically in the mail, you’ll get reminder texts, you open your laptop and look at the ballot, do your research and mail it in.”
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