Helping Australians to make informed election decisions

GetUp!, an independent, grass-roots community advocacy organisation, is on a mission to build a more progressive Australia. They do this by giving everyday Australians the opportunity to get involved and hold politicians accountable on important issues.

With the 2013 Australian federal elections fast approaching, GetUp! had an idea to create ‘OzVote’, an app that would help Australians easily understand the parties’ policies on issues that matter to them – encouraging people to make well informed votes.

They had just 18 days from the idea generation to the delivery deadline to release a cross-platform hybrid app covering web, Android and iOS.

GetUp! wanted to create ‘OzVote’ so Australians could access a location based digital scorecard allowing them to easily compare parties and to find directions to their nearest polling booth.

GetUp! and ThoughtWorks have a long held partnership and worked together to ensure this tight deadline was met. With only 18 days until the go-live deadline, lean start-up principles (build, measure, learn) were used to speed up the development process.

The team used ‘PhoneGap’ and a mix of native and web components for the Android and iOS apps, which meant GetUp! could make last minute content changes (in response to changing policy details) even after the apps were accepted by the Android and iOS app stores. A geo-location feature was added to give the user access to content specific to community, in addition to helping voters find the nearest polling booth.

OzVote turned an experiment two weeks out into a 20% lift in total voter contacts on election day. ThoughtWorks made it possible to deliver the independent GetUp scorecard inside a location aware polling place finder app. The app amplified the efforts of more than 6,000 volunteers by targeting just the electorates that the volunteers did not. GetUp and ThoughtWorks came together and helped everyday Australians get involved in their democracy. Through organising at scale a staggering 3.2 million independent scorecards were seen as voters headed to the polls” 

Darren Loasby, Deputy National Director, GetUp!

The results? GetUp! met their deadline and released the app ahead of the elections.

With 211,379 users in the 2 days leading up to the elections, GetUp! was able to assist Australians in making an informed decision, and vote for what they believe would make a more progressive Australia.

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