5 May 2014
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has released three mobile phone applications (apps) ahead of Wednesday’s general election.
Using the first set of apps, voters can get the election results in real time as they are captured, from the first result to the last, including the final seat calculation and allocation.
“Voters will be able join us and all our stakeholders in the journey of monitoring the correctness of what is captured and calculate the final results with us,” IEC chief information officer Libisi Maphanga said on Friday.
The apps also provide information on voter registration status, voting station locations, candidates lists, frequently asked questions, contacts and more. They can be downloaded free from all major app stores on Android, BlackBerry, Apple, Windows 8 and Symbian platforms.
The second app, the “IXSA” app, is a 3D digital game which introduces first-time voters to the voting process in a fun, interactive way. The game can be downloaded free from Android and Apple app stores and is also available to play on Facebook.
The game allows users to pick an avatar and then follow this character on Election Day, facing a number of challenges along the way. Players earn points for how election-savvy they are and can complete against other South Africans by posting their scores on social media and challenging their friends to beat their score.
The IEC’s deputy chief electoral officer for outreach, Nomsa Masuku, said the game was about making the voting process accessible to young people in a format they were familiar with.
“Learning is best achieved when people are having fun and don’t feel like they are being taught,” Masuku said. “The digital gaming world is the perfect place to combine education and entertainment.”
The third set of apps are APIs (application programming interfaces), designed to give the media, political parties and other interested stakeholders automated real-time access to election data using their own apps on any online platform of their choice.