Frequently Asked Questions
HOW IT WORKS
Who can create a team? Anyone! Team Leads want to make sure their friends get out and VOTE. Team Leads care about civic participation and political outcomes, but also know that sometimes life gets...busy. Team Leads might miss an election every now and then, or feel uninformed, or forget to switch their registration when they move, and they want to make sure they vote.
In short, Team Leads want to stay on top of what needs to get done, want want to make sure their friends do, too. Plus, the chance to win prizes is a nice cherry on top!
How do I join a team? Your Team Lead should have you a link. Just select your team name from the drop down list and make your pledge! Can't find the link from your friend? Use this sign-up form.
What if I'm not 18 yet? Or not registered for a party in a closed Primary? If you're under 18, and excited enough about voting to be reading this, YOU'RE A STAR! You can sign up to start or join a team through our partner, YVote. If you're not eligible to vote for other reasons, you can't join a motivote team, but we'd love to have you join us when you're ready to vote!
Is there a minimum and maximum team size? Teams must have a minimum of three players (a Team Lead, plus two more) but the sky's the limit for team size.
I want to be on a team! But what do I actually do? The must-do's are voting (that's the whole point!) and verifying your vote with us. We also suggest checking your emails and texts from us: We send along reminders, tips, and challenges (and love to throw in a good GIF). Check in with your teammates to make sure you're all on track. Along the way, earn rewards for Actions like making a voting plan, recruiting more friends, and sharing reminders.
How do you know if I've voted? Whether or not an individual voted is actually public record, but it can take a few months for the voter rolls to be released. To speed up the process, we ask users to self-verify by taking a selfie outside of the voting booth with their “I voted” sticker (or voting receipt), and then send the photo to the motivote team. If a user votes absentee, we ask that they just a selfie holding the absentee ballot. Once you sign up for a team, we send you all the details you need to know about the process.
Rewards!? We're all about celebrating the process of getting ready and informed. That's why we curate Actions like researching issues, attending events, and confirming your polling place details—which help you follow through with voting. Here’s the catch: Your whole team must complete the Action to earn the reward. Collective accountability will keep you on track.
When you do that, we say thanks to your your future self with points that translate into prizes. In the NY pilot, points translate into dollars on your Amazon gift card balance. You also get points for recruiting more friends to your team.
After the election cycle, we also recognize the team with the most points overall and highest number of pledged voters. Prizes include gift cards, discount codes, movie passes, spa sessions, fitness classes, and more. We’ll track your progress and send you regular updates. When everyone on your team votes and verifies, we celebrate you as motiWINNERS on our social media.
What's the time commitment? You're busy. We get it. So we do all the heavy lifting. Creating a team takes less than 5 minutes (unless you really struggle to come up with a team name). Then you'll get a link and language to forward to friends, who may need a few nudges. Nothing offline is required (except when it comes to voting itself.)
We take it from there. We give you weekly updates you can pass on to your team, plus optional Actions for extra points, like posting to social media. On Election Day, you'll help make sure your team members turn out and submit their verification.
Who can be on my team? Team members must be eligible to vote in the specified election. They must be registered to vote per the state registration deadline. For the primaries this summer, your team members must be voting in the same state as you so that you can vote and verify on the same day. For the midterms, you can form a team with any eligible voter across the country because all states are voting on the same day.
Why does this matter? Unequal representation means unequal influence. While we can provide an entire syllabus on the importance of voting, we want to highlight why voting in the primaries counts.
Take New York as an example:
- New York House districts are SO uncompetitive that 90 percent are determined in the primary election. By the time the general election comes around, most races have already been decided.
- Young people are particularly bad at turning out to vote in off-year elections. Over half (51.1%) of newly registered voters in 2017 were under the age of 30. However, only 13.4% of registered voters under 30 cast a ballot in 2017. Elected officials have NO incentive to respond to the policy priorities of young people if they can’t count on their votes.
- New York comes in 41st among states in voter turnout. Low voter turnout can produce entrenched, unresponsive elected officials who are more beholden to their financial supporters than the electorate.
Okay, voting is important. But how does this help me? Our interviews with hundreds of voters surfaced a common thread: People express a desire to vote and articulate the value of doing so, but when Election Day comes, sometimes “microbarriers” get in the way. Things like getting held up at work, missing a registration deadline, feeling uninformed about the candidates, giving up because a line was too long, and so on.
We feel a little frustrated with friends when they don't follow through, and a little guilty when it's us who dropped the ball. (Hey, we've been there.)
Like going to the gym or doing your laundry, voting is one of those things that feels easier to plan than actually do when the time comes and other parts of life get in the way.
We bridge the gap between intention and action, applying research-backed principles that help people hold themselves accountable to goals in other areas of life, like losing weight. In short: You don’t want to let down your friends, so you’re more likely to do it. We make it fun and social. Plus, prizes!
Ooh, research-backed principles! Tell me more! Humans face present bias, meaning we often overvalue immediate rewards at the expense of long-term goals. ("My diet starts Monday.") We also overestimate our likelihood of completing desirable behaviors.
motivote combines the power of the self-prophecy effect and social influence to ensure people take steps to overcome microbarriers and follow through voting. In the behavioral economics literature, this is a commitment device: "an arrangement entered into by an individual with the aim of helping fulfill a plan for future behavior."
If you want to geek out with us, check out some more research here.