Google today launched the South African Elections Hub, an online portal where voters, journalists and campaigners can easily track all the latest news, trends and information related to the 2014 elections, set to take place on 7 May, marking 20 years of democracy in South Africa.
The Internet is playing an increasingly important role in the way that both political parties and citizens participate and engage in the elections across Africa. Since 2007, Google has launched over 40+ editions of the Elections platform, resulting in Google elections tools and resources being used over 500 million times by people around the world.
Google’s South African Elections Hub serves as a one-stop site for voters to access election-related information, including party and candidate information, where to vote, real-time election news, search trends, and some of the most engaging elections-related YouTube videos from a wide range of political parties, media and civil society. The Elections Hub is also mobile-friendly.
Google has worked with a range of stakeholders including media, civil society organisations and political parties, enabling them to use technology to innovate during the elections, and allow voters and politicians to share, discuss, and make informed decisions.
Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, Policy and Government Relations Manager at Google South Africa, says: “Technology is changing the way that voters and politicians share information, debate issues, and make informed decisions. The internet is driving higher levels of engagement now than ever before, but there is still much that can be done. The run-up to this important election in South Africa is a great opportunity for both candidates and citizens to use the internet and Google’s innovative tools.”
He continues, “Google’s mission is organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Our elections tools directly support this mission. We want citizens to be empowered during the upcoming elections, so we’re organising information to make it easy for voters to find everything they need to make an informed voting decision, all in one place. It is now more important than ever to help keep South Africans informed and educated about the elective process and their role in the democracy of the country.”
To access the hub, go to: http://www.google.com/elections/ed/za