A democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation, or to choose governing officials to do so. In other words, democracy is embodied by the constituents’ right to vote.
What is both alarming and unfortunate, however, is that in the US this important right is often shrugged off. The James L. Knight Foundation released a landmark study in 2019 that showed there are 100 million Americans who are eligible to vote but don’t. This often is because of a lack of understanding of the governmental body, the political processes that facilitate that government, and the ways to which their votes apply. This lack of understanding is a void that the website We Will Decide (Wewilldecide.com) strives to fill.
Leveling The Playing Field
The founder of We Will Decide, Kelly Riordan, is a woman who grew tired of voting blindly and transcended into a woman on a mission. Through her online platform, she aims to create a better way for the average person to obtain the political information they need without bias, giving them empowerment through information to become their own political advisor.
We Will Decide allows users to confidently form their voting choices by comparing their opinions with those of their congressmen, other congressmen, and future candidates. It is a “first-of-its-kind” platform that tracks all the bills and laws congressional members have voted on—both past and pending. Visitors to the site are able to vote alongside their representatives and other congressional members on the same bills they vote on.
What is even more helpful, the website calculates the percentage of agreement between users and their representatives, as well as every single member of the Senate and the House in one digital place. Users can also learn about the bills that members of Congress have proposed and how often they vote, helping them to find a specific representative’s voting history on topics that might be important to the individual, such as abortion or gun control—individualizing the experience for each registered user.
We Will Decide aims to add accessing useful voting information to a user’s everyday Internet scrolling routine and says visitors just need to take a few minutes to vote on bills. Bills, laws, amendments, and joint resolutions are shown exactly as they appear to congressmen, and if voters need more information on a bill, they can click on it to go to the official page where they can read the bill themselves.
An Informed Step Forward
If Kelly had to choose, she would say that she is targeting the younger demographic, and is trying to get more of the lesser-seasoned generation interested and invested in their right to vote. This especially applies to millennials, who are used to processing lots of information very quickly thanks to screens and data inundation being a part of their upbringing.
“But I’ll take everyone,“ said Riordan. “Everyone is invited to my party, whether I agree with them or not. Do I have an opinion? Sure, I have an opinion. But my opinion actually means zero in this context.”
Kelly believes that the more information you have about something, the less scary that thing is, which is exactly what We Will Decide aspires to change about voting in America. “We’re trying to make this whole political process a lot less scary by providing access to congressional information in an easy-to-understand format,” she explained.
The platform was constructed for the sharing of authentic political information with integrity—no interference from news, gossip, or opinions. Kelly funded the website through tax returns, credit cards, and “basic scrimping and saving”, and she is determined to keep it permanently ad-free in an attempt to keep the platform a neutral resource. Users are charged a modest $3 per month member fee, with 10% of monthly net earnings going to trackable charities. Additionally, referring a friend to the site will earn users a free month.
“There are politicians trying to make it harder for the average person to vote, and there are no words to say how important it is to vote today,” Kelly said.
We Will Decide aims to encourage citizens to take action on the matters that they care about and use their voices through voting. By joining the platform, US citizens can make more informed decisions for both themselves and the future of their country