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Civic Ed
Courtesy Sara Gifford

Sara Gifford and Victor Allis co-founded ActiVote.

Meet the reformer: Sara Gifford, putting tech savvy to work for civics

In recent years, more and more technology experts have been developing new tools for boosting civic engagement. Sara Gifford embodies the trend. At the end of 2018 she set aside her budding tech career — after a decade at supply-chain software firm Quintiq she'd become chief operating officer for Dispatch, which makes software connecting home-service brands with contractors and clients — and co-founded ActiVote Inc. Its free app aims to increase political participation by giving voters access to information about candidates and elections, as well as encouraging their civic engagement. Her answers have been edited for clarity and length.

What's the tweet-length description of your organization?

We are a safe, nonpartisan space for voters to learn about their elections, the races, how to vote and which candidates believe what they believe. An informed voter feels empowered. And an empowered voter shows up to vote.

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Civic Ed
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Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Many non-college people in their late teens and early 20s are employed — but they also experience higher rates of joblessness. And they are far less likely to be politically engaged than their enrolled peers.

There's still time to engage the 16 million young voters who aren't in college

Stern is the youth civic education and engagement coordinator in Texas for the Children's Defense Fund, which advocates to improve the health, welfare and education of young people.

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Civic Ed
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Frederick Bass/Getty Images

A new, unifying form of news can help fix a broken democracy

Coan is a depolarization strategist who volunteers for Braver Angels, which encourages people to befriend and understand those with differing political opinions.

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