OkCandidate

OkCandidate Snags OkCupid’s Approach, Tells You Who To Vote For

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While I wouldn’t expect it to fly with its current name for very long, check out this project that came out of NYT’s recent Open Hack Day (where it walked away as runner-up).

Called OkCandidate, it’s OkCupid… for voters. Instead of finding you the best romantic candidate to date and make beautiful love babies with, it tries to determine which presidential candidate is most compatible with your beliefs.

Like OkCupid, OkCandidate begins with a series of questions. You drop in some details about your political beliefs, acknowledge which answers you find acceptable, and mark how important you find that particular issue. In the end, OkCandidate ranks each candidate on a 0-100 scale.

To be clear: at this point, I couldn’t recommend anyone actually use this to pick their candidate. Given that it was built in ~12 hours for a hack day, it has its fair share of limitations that could be cleared up with a bit more effort. For example: it’s completely opaque as to how it’s forming its compatibility ratings and from where it’s pulling its information, so the ratings at the end lack reason or explanation. It’s also curiously missing information/ratings regarding incumbent president Barack Obama , so its ratings are currently limited to the Republican candidates.

So why write about it? Because I really like the concept, and hope the team (or someone else) builds it into something wonderful. Everyone gets a vote — but not everybody bothers to be informed. Maybe it’s because they’re too busy; maybe it’s because they’re intimidated by the mountain of information they’d need to pore over. A tool like this (albeit one with a bit more transparency and explanation behind ratings) would, at the very least, help people take the first step towards narrowing down a pick.

If something like this exists, drop a comment and let us know. I’ve done my fair share of searching, but my Google-Fu fails to turn up anything well-made and intended for use with the upcoming election.