Hot shot lawyer-to-be develops innovative election app

by NZ Lawyer19 Sep 2014
A University of Canterbury law and commerce student is so passionate about the elections that she’s developed an innovative mobile app in an effort to disperse valuable information for new voters.

Earlier this year Hannah Duder produced a website to help young voters in tomorrow’s elections, and subsequently received $10,000 from the Handley Foundation as part of the Shoulder Tap national recruitment campaign.

She’s used the money to develop the mobile app, aptly named “Candidate”, after realising that only a third of young people are expected to vote in this year’s general election.

Duder also worked with the Shoulder Tap community and businessman Derek Handley to set up a group, the Virgin Voter Collective.

She says the University of Canterbury’s Innovators and Entre organisations sparked her interest in entrepreneurship, innovation and app creation.

Since then, it’s been all go, and the app was launch on August 20.

"I have been in touch with all major parties to help develop my Candidate app. They have provided policy topics following a survey I put out to young people to see which topics were important to them. I have had responses from ACT, NZ First, Mana/Internet, National, Labour, Green the Maori parties,” Duder says.

Candidate is a web-based app that can be used on any cellphone, computer or tablet with an internet browser. The group’s aim is to get at least another 18,000 young people to vote.

"Our Virgin Voter team has gathered some surprising data which shows youth voter decline is a much bigger issue than most people think. A lot of young people feel that politics and voting is quite boring and not relevant to their lives,” she says.

The group has concentrated its efforts in electorates where there is critically low number of enrolled voters, including Auckland Central, Dunedin North and Wellington Central. Three Christchurch red zone affected electorates are also on the list.

"A lot of people are out there trying to get people my age get excited about voting in this year's election and we recognise that if we pool all the brains, numbers and activities then we can have a bigger impact."