Our vision: A world where more people vote, more often
Motivote’s mission is to empower businesses, nonprofits and colleges to run high-impact voter engagement programs that help people navigate the voting process.
Our proprietary framework is proven to increase turnout with the same behavioral strategies that help us go to the gym, save money, and learn new skills
Research shows people deprioritize voting because of life’s little – and institutionalized – barriers. We designed a platform that helps individuals break through these barriers and vote by making the experience easy, fun and rewarding.
With purpose-built tools powered by behavioral science, we help motivate teams, classmates, community, colleagues & employees to make voting a habit.
Motivote co-founders Jess Riegel and Rachel Konowitz met as Master’s of Public Administration students in 2017. A former 1st grade teacher and campus organizer, we paired up for our year-long capstone project at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.
We wanted to understand why so many people who are impacted by elections don’t consistently vote in them. We had seen this breakdown up close: One of us (Rachel) had managed dozens of get-out-the-vote campaigns and hundreds of canvassers nationwide, while the other (Jess) only voted every four years.
Сonversations with hundreds of new and inconsistent voters surfaced the role of “microbarriers.” These are the frictions that cause drop-off from saying you’ll vote to actually doing it.
They sound like:
• I got busy
• I don’t have a printer
• I missed the deadline
• I left the form on my table
• I didn’t know there was an election
We call this an intention-action gap.
Too much of the voting discourse focuses on telling people “just do it” and “it matters” — while glossing over the behavioral realities we face. Humans are irrational: We don’t always do what we say we’ll do or act on what we think is important.
We designed a platform that helps individuals break through these barriers and vote by making the experience easy, fun and rewarding.
Our framework is proven to increase turnout with the same behavioral strategies that help us go to the gym, save money, and learn new skills. Think: social commitments, plan-making nudges, timely reminders, positive reinforcement.
Motivote focuses on the behavior of voting, not who you vote for, with the goal of breaking down often confusing, opaque processes to build consistent habits and confidence.
Motivote began pilots in 2018 and launched nationally in 2020. Our partners include mission-driven nonprofits, higher education institutions, and brands that believe democracy works best when we all participate.