South Africa launches election apps ahead of vote

South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has launched a number of apps, including a mobile game, aiming to provide information and enhance voter education ahead of the elections this week.

south_africa_darryn“The mobile apps are part of an effort by the IEC to unlock the free flow of electoral information on the information superhighway and bringing voting information to the masses on the devices that the majority of people still use,” the IEC said.

The apps provide users with voter information including registration details and polling stations, election information including candidate lists, election results and seat information, and answers to frequently asked questions.

The apps can be downloaded for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Symbian free of charge.

“As a measure of transparency and openness, voters will be able to access and follow the 2014 elections results real-time throughout the capturing process through their mobile devices from anywhere and anytime, from the first result to the last… including the final seat calculation and seat allocation. Voter will be able join us and all stakeholders in journey of monitoring the correctness of what is capture and calculate the final results with us,” said chief information officer (CIO) at the IEC, Libisi Maphanga.

The election commission has also released the IXSA app, a game aiming to introduce first time voters to the process in a “fun, interactive and innovative way.”

However, IXSA is only available in iOS and Android.

“The game allows users to pick an avatar and then follow this character on “Election Day” – facing a number of challenges along the way which educate voters how, when and where to cast their vote,” the IEC said.

Players earn points for their election knowledge and can post their results on social media to interact with other voters.

“This game is about making the voting process accessible to young people in a format they are familiar with – and in their pockets and on the move via their smart phones,” saId Dr Nomsa Masuku, deputy chief electoral officer of outreach at the IEC.

“Learning is best achieved when people are having fun and don’t feel like they are being taught. The digital gaming world is the perfect place to combine education and entertainment.”

A set of APIs have also been released allowing media outlets, political parties and all interested stakeholders access to information using their own apps or online platforms.

Story Credit: HumanIPO


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