This Website Tells Millennials Who To Vote For (If They Want Clean Power)

“Hack the Election” aims to help a generation raised by the Internet figure out the midterm elections IRL.

Are you between the ages of 18 and 29? Do you like the idea of a climate that isn’t rapidly spinning out of control because of unregulated industry and unchecked mass consumption? This website developed by an ad agency, the Environmental Defense Fund,* and Stanford University undergrads wants to tell you who to vote for in the upcoming midterm elections. All “Hack the Election” needs is your IP address.


The millennial vote is an elusive one. Earlier this year, a Harvard University public opinion poll reported that the number of millennials who would be voting in the midterms had shrunk from previous years. Less than a quarter of the sample polled in April said they’d “definitely be voting.”

And yet millennial voters show remarkably strong policy positions when it comes to environmental issues. According to another opinion poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner in February, 85% of a representative sample of millennials said they supported President Obama’s plan to have the EPA put limits on how much carbon dioxide power plants can spew into the atmosphere. (Power plants don’t currently have any such limitations.)

Hack the Election is the latest attempt in a string of colorful efforts to get out the youth vote.

“We call this stuff that we do one-click activism,”says Hack the Election co-developer Franklin Tipton. “It’s not that people are lazy; it’s just how the world works.”

Tipton, a partner at San Francisco ad agency Odysseus Arms, says that he and his business partner Libby Brockhoff were inspired to create their Hack the Election site from information they received from the EDF.* They then connected with two Stanford undergrads–Shane Bauer and Miles Johnson–to help code the site. In a couple of weeks, the project was complete.

“We’re not really environmentalists,” Tipton says. “We just don’t think power companies being allowed to pump unlimited carbon dioxide into the air is very smart.”


*The Environmental Defense Fund was not involved with the project. We regret the error.

About the author

Sydney Brownstone is a Seattle-based former staff writer at Co.Exist. She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with windows that don’t quite open, and covers environment, health, and data.