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Election Results Are In on Sean Parker's Brigade App: Millennial Voters Used It

Users of the Brigade political app expressed opinions that mirrored the outcome of the San Francisco election.

Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

The results are in on Sean Parker’s political app, which sought to engage an elusive voter group — millennials — in the recent San Francisco elections.

Brigade launched an interactive ballot guide in recent weeks to provide an easy-to-use tool for voters in San Francisco and Manchester, N.H., to make informed decisions on Election Day. (Some have described the app as “Tinder for politics.”) The guides are an early test of Brigade Media’s theories about how social networks and smartphones can be harnessed to improve voter participation.

Some 67 percent of those who used Brigade’s interactive ballot guide were millennials, according to Brigade Media. The startup considers this a significant milestone because voter participation among 18- to 34-year-olds declined in the 2014 midterm elections.

“Millennials’ willingness to embrace new civic platforms like Brigade reinforces our belief that this demographic is not apathetic, as some have argued,” said Brigade spokesman Andrew Noyes. “They care deeply about issues but don’t know how to make their voices heard and don’t think their votes count.”

Brigade won’t say how many people — whether five or 5,000 — actually used the app or went to the polls.

The app provided an accurate barometer of balloting in San Francisco. The opinions users expressed within the Brigade app mirrored the election results for all candidates and ballot measures but one — a supervisor’s race, in which former Supervisor Aaron Peskin defeated the incumbent, Julie Christensen.

As in the city at large, housing issues dominated the discussion within the political app, whose social network provides a forum for debate. Proposition F, which would have placed restrictions on short-term rentals such as those offered through Airbnb, generated the most interest among the app’s users, with the majority voicing their opposition.

Brigade is the brainchild of Facebook billionaire Sean Parker and two senior executive from, Matt Mahan and James Windon.

Parker and other civic-minded tech backers — Chief Executive Marc Benioff and Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway — pledged $9.5 million last year to the startup, whose mission is to get people thinking and talking about important issues on a social network where they would maintain their civic identities.

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