These College Students Are Bringing Back The American Dream — Here's Why That's Great News For You

Recess startups making waves.

America was founded on a wonderful concept:  

In an arrangement made possible by a majority vote, the people of this great land have a voice in their government because, in theory, they elected the leaders who represent their values. Maybe that's why the place in which they all congregate to make decisions is called the "United States House of Representatives." 

But "the people" often become disenfranchised with their government when it seems overwhelming — or when they feel left out of the decision-making process.

For real, when was the last time you voted on a bill?  Considering the fact that only one percent of Americans are actually politically active, we're guessing it wasn't too recently.


So that's why four college students founded Ballot, an app that allows its users to vote on issues that matter to them — and might be the solution we've been waiting for.  

The co-founders, Muhammad Mazhari, Lawrence Yong, Carson Covell and Ritwik Biswas, didn't even know each other before collaborating on this project. They met through a network for up-and-coming entrepreneurs called Startup Weekend and decided to see if their collective brilliance could lead to the realization of Mazhari's idea. (He found the inspiration for Ballot after feeling frustrated with the relationship between "the people" and the government.)

"People are looking for a real way to engage and interact with politics," he told A Plus. "They want to have a voice in what goes on."

He explained that there are plenty of mediocre solutions thanks to social media, but there's still a lot of noise and not a lot of genuine involvement. 

Here's how it works: 

 You sign up and include three to five specific or broad issues you care about. The app will then populate a feed for you and show you bills from your area that you can either support or oppose. Your vote then gets sent up the ladder and, boom, your voice is heard.  

"The end goal is for people to have a more transparent and accountable government around them," he said. "And I think that's what we're building." 

Watch their pitch video below:


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