smartvote is a so-called voting advice application (VAA). Based on a comprehensive questionnaire on a wide range of political topics, smartvote allows voters to compare their own political viewpoints with those of political parties and candidates.
Candidates answer the smartvote questionnaire some weeks before the upcoming elections. By doing so they generate their political profile. These profiles are saved in a database. Subsequently voters can answer the same questionnaire on the smartvote website. smartvote compares their answers with those of the candidates. As a result and as a voting advice smartvote presents to each voter a specific ranking of all participating candidates, ranking those candidates with the best matching at the top of the list.
smartvote intends to help voters with their electoral decision by providing them with improved information about the candidates' political positions. smartvote offers voters the possibility to choose those candidates who match best their own viewpoints on politics.
smartvote exists since 2003. The non-profit NGO Politools is developping and operating smartvote. Politools is seated in Berne and works as an interdisciplinary research network that develops web-based projects in order to enhance political interest and to improve the level of political knowledge among citizens.
During the federal election campaigns of 2007 and 2011 smartvote was used extensively. In 2011 smartvote generated a voting advice about 1,2 million times. Almost 3000 candidates participated and answered the questionnaire. At its peak smartvote registered 40'000 visitors per day.