Visible Vote

In January 2011 I was in Washington DC helping out at the Coffee Party’s “For The People Summit” launching the Movement For The People initiative about money in politics.  I had the pleasure to meet Visible Vote’s Jonathan Macchi and I’m very impressed with the man, the application and the implications for this tool for organizations like the Coffee Party, Movement For The People and  This is a game changer pure and simple.  Check it out. Walt

Latest Polls

Visible Vote is launching its newest technology which will allow the lawmakers in your district and state to invite you to live video town hall discussions that you can participate in. In order to do so your senators and representatives will be sending instant notifications to your Smartphone right through Visible Vote. How often would you like to participate in a live event? (2770 votes)

If you were trying to reduce the federal budget, from which area of spending would you focus your reductions? (5085 votes)

The DREAM ACT failed to get the requisite number of votes (60) to move forward in the Senate. It has already passed in the House of Representatives. Do you agree with the Senate result? (5559 votes)


What is Visible Vote?

Your Vote Now Counts Past Election Day! Visible Vote is a free application created to empower Facebook, iPhone, Blackberry, Google Android and Windows users to advise congress on how to vote on the major upcoming legislation, follow current events, understand their legislators voting records, and compare the records with their own personal belief systems. After you advise congress on how to vote on your behalf the application will cross compare your vote to your representative after they vote and provide you feedback on their performance. Every week the application compiles the users voting record and sends this information to the appropriate legislator clearly indicating whether or not their constituents support or oppose their views on particular issues.

Visible Vote was created to address the following:

  • The average citizen feels powerless in making a difference in today’s government and policies.
  • We are not sure where to get fair and unbiased information on issues being voted on.
  • We don’t understand how laws and politics affect us personally.
  • The system is too large and complex to be engaged using old technology like faxes and voice mails.
  • Political opinions are charged with emotion and Visible Vote makes it easy to understand and communicate.

Visible Vote’s Goals:

  • Know your representatives and make your voice heard.
  • Bring the power of government down to the everyday person.
  • Personalize politics down to the individual.
  • Allow for every day citizens to use technology that is simple and time efficient.
  • Make it fun and enjoyable to participate and communicate with others on political issues.

Visible Vote will remain a free, unbiased, non-partisan application for every U.S. citizen to accomplish today what wasn’t possible before.

Hot Issues

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

Category: ENERGY

Should Congress pass H.R. 2454 Known As American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009?

No 60.37%28,663
Yes 39.63%18,814

Total Votes: 47,477

Vote Now

Read Comments / Leave a Comment

New Feature—Live Video

Watch live streaming video on your smartphone or from your computer. Hear directly from legislators and candidates!

Video Features for Constituents

  • Real-time interaction with representatives
  • Ability to ask questions directly
  • Participate on your own time—live or on-demand
  • Make your views known

Video Features for Legislators

  • Giving legislators their own TV channel
  • Instant notification to users through Push Notifications
  • Real-time interaction with constituents
  • Immediate feedback with ID information

Visible Vote Stats

View how your representatives stack up against others in Congress and how their voting record compares to yours. View Stats

Who is behind Visible Vote?

Visible Vote was founded by Paul Everton, an average citizen, as he tried to get involved in the political process in light of the impending $700 billion government bailout. Paul discovered that making your voice heard as an average citizen is nearly impossible, because the system has become so big that it has become impractical for constituents to attempt to have a dialogue with their representatives.

After experiencing firsthand the difficulty with knowing how his legislators had voted and with having his voice heard, Paul sat down with his younger brother and explained the problems and had an “Aha!” moment, and Visible Vote was born.

Paul Everton
Founder & CEO

Paul Everton is CEO and founder of Visible Vote; he was recently honored as a top innovator at the Chicago Innovation Awards for creating Visible Vote. He has over 16 years of experience in information technology, programming techniques, network and infrastructure design, IT sales and business development.

Everton developed Visible Vote in 2009 to help strengthen the pipeline between people and their legislators. Before that, he developed complex network architecture designs for Fortune 100 clients while working for a San Francisco-based firm. He began his career designing security infrastructures for the nation’s most secure government organizations.

Everton is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in computer science; he specializes in network security and cryptography techniques. He currently resides in Chicago.

Jason Pritzker
Co-Founder & President

Jason Pritzker is co-founder and President of Visible Vote. He helped develop Visible Vote to strengthen communication lines between voters and their legislators. Pritzker’s background includes work in the manufacturing industry, investment banking industry and hotel industry. Most recently, he worked for the Marmon Group, an industrial manufacturing company. From 2003-2006, Pritzker worked at Goldman Sachs in the Investment Banking Division. Prior to that, Pritzker worked for the Hyatt Corporation in Madrid. Pritzker has been active in philanthropy for Chicago institutions, having founded the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Children’s Museum and hosted fundraising events for the Chicago Art Institute. He graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in sociology. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Jonathan Macchi
Vice President – Business Development

Jonathan has over 14 years of experience in information technology as a sales and engineering expert, delivering solutions to Fortune 100 companies. Before heading the sales division for Visible Vote, Jonathan was the business development manager for an industry-leading global database software company, where he managed partnerships and delivered solutions for the world’s largest utilities.

Jonathan has a proven track record of success growing startup companies, having brought to maturity several IT consulting practices as managed service providers, including his own firm where he was Managing Partner. Throughout his career he has also held positions as Senior Network Engineer, Senior Consultant, Managed Services Manager, Business Development Manager and Managing Partner.

Jonathan is a graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University with a specialization in network security and infrastructure. He holds over a dozen industry-recognized certifications.

An iPhone democracy is not far off


How long before government and politics is conducted solely through new media?

When will direct mail, 30-second spots, and retail politics become obsolete?

How long until representative democracy morphs into pure democracy?

The answers may not be far off.

Visible Vote, a new computer application for smartphones, allows citizens to vote on issues before Congress and then measure their positions against the votes of their representatives.

Two individuals from Chicago came up with the idea. According to Kiki Ryan in Politico, anyone with “an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android can take advantage of democracy in just a few seconds.”

Thirty United States Senators and Representatives have signed on to Visible Vote, enabling them to have direct contact with their constituents.

All, or most, members of Congress will surely succumb to the pressure to sign up for the service. Before long Visible Vote will revolutionize the life of state legislators as well.

Visible Vote is the latest incantation to be cast over a public longing to be in touch with members of Congress — and to have them respond to their needs.

This software joins with the telephone (almost obsolete), fax machines, email, facebook, and twitter, in allowing constituents to communicate with public officials.

It also is another tool lobbyists can use to mobilize the public in grassroots efforts to influence public policy.

Visible Vote represents another step in using new media to engage the citizenry in a perpetual ongoing town meeting. But it is not the only use of new media that bears mentioning.

John Zogby, President and CEO of the polling firm Zogby International, has been experimenting with using the Internet to do interactive polling for over a decade.

In Campaigns and Elections, Zogby writes “we believe the future of polling lies with the Internet and establishing online panels both large and diverse enough to give reliable samples and results.”

New media is also gaining influence in the world of campaigns. Internet targeting is so advanced that it can mobilize voters by communicating precisely the right message to the right group of voters.

Known as attitudinal targeting, online technology permits candidates to reach voters that historically have been hard to reach with a message that directly appeals to them.

In this impassioned political season, with the very future of public policy hanging in the balance, it’s hard to quarrel with the importance of the public being engaged in the debate.

The fact that over the last few years there has been activism on both sides of the ideological spectrum demonstrates that democracy still thrives.

And new media certainly has had something to do with this.

But as politics and government is increasingly at the mercy of new media, it’s important to breathe deeply, step back, and think about the system of government our founding fathers established.

The framers established a republic, or representative democracy, not a pure democracy.

They organized government to protect against the tyranny of the majority, or in other words, to provide protection for the minority, which at that time may have been property owners, but in modern times constitutes any group holding minority opinions or minority needs.

They wanted Congress to be deliberative and not automatically swayed by the passions of the people. Moreover, the framers never envisioned a scenario where attitudinal targeting could use individually tailored messages to manipulate voters.

The new media is opening up avenues of possibilities for governing, lobbying, and campaigning. It is driving ordinary citizens to get involved. And this is to the good.

However, along with the possibilities it is important to be mindful of the pitfalls.

As part of this new media driven civic engagement, careful thought must be given to guarding against the arrival of a time when public policy is made, not in a deliberative way, but in a reactive way.

Representatives should be responsive but they should also heed their responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the public; decisions that may not always square with the majority view.

Finally, because of the inevitable dominance of the new media over governing, campaigning, and lobbying it is important to begin considering how, if at all, it should be regulated.

Because transparency will always be in the public interest, this question is an important one for regulators to consider, particularly those whose mission is disclosure.

Jeff Brindle is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. The opinions presented here are his own and not necessarily those of the Commission.

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