Teen develops voting app even though he can’t vote

CBC Kids News • Published 2019-10-17 11:00

App features information on candidates in individual ridings

Yashvardhan Mulki loves politics, technology and computers.

Over the summer, the 16-year-old from Oakville, Ont., brought those passions together and created a voting app for the current federal election.

It’s meant to be a “one-stop shop to get all your information about the elections,” Yashvardhan told CBC Kids News.

The app, called Votisor, has several features, including news articles about the election, polls and links to each party’s platform.

3 screen grabs of an app, including news articles about elections, a poll tracker and a list of the federal parties

Examples of some of the features of the voting app developed by Yashvardhan Mulki. (Votisor)

Even though Yashvardhan can’t vote, he wanted to create something that could help improve voter turnout, especially among young voters.

“I think decisions are better made when everyone's voice is heard,” he said. “And I think that's especially important for youth … because voter turnout among young voters is especially low.”

In the 2015 election, 57.1 per cent of eligible voters between 18 and 24 cast ballots, up from 38.8 per cent in 2011, according to Elections Canada.

One of the key features is also information on candidates.

Users can find out who is running in their riding and even get their contact information.

“I think the local representative really represents your interests in Parliament. So it's really important for people to not only know who the federal party leaders are and what their policies are, but also to see who their local candidates are,” Yashvardhan said.

Yashvardhan Mulki has created four apps and received scholarships to attend the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. (Submitted by Yashvardhan Mulki)

One of his key priorities in developing the app was keeping the content unbiased.

“I wanted to make sure it's as nonpartisan as possible and represents the information fairly,” he said.

The app chooses information from “really reputable news sources in Canada.”

The articles are chosen based on keywords related to the election, but are not in chronological order.

Votisor has been downloaded about 520 times and is available on the App Store.

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