Tomorrow is the long-awaited USA 2016 Election, and Ushahidi, the creator of the election-monitoring software by the same name, is ready to help citizens raise their voice and bring transparency with USAelectionmonitor.com.
There have been numerous worries expressed of voter suppression, intimidation, and misdirection, and even anxiety of potential violence taking place on election day. Ushahidi’s tool will allow anyone to report on any issues they witness, with the goal of allowing every registered voter to raise their voice and demonstrate their democratic right to an unobstructed and fair vote.
Ushahidi’s COO, Nathaniel Manning, says of their work, “Our honest hope is that all of this is for naught, and that end of the day Tuesday we look at all the reports and that 99.9 percent of reports say: ‘Everything went great!’ But if something does go wrong, or if people’s rights are suppressed, than we will be there to help them escalate the issue and bring attention to the perpetrators.”
Too often it is the minority population who are most disenfranchised and misdirected on election day, but with technology such as Ushahidi, which leverages mobile phones, Twitter, email, and SMS, we can now easily bring transparency to these unfortunate issues.
Ushahidi says, “we want to reach people where they already are, on their phones, on twitter, and on text message.” As such, you can report to USAelectionmonitor.org via: Web: usaelectionmonitor.ushahidi.io,SMS: (302) 268-9516, Twitter: #usaelectionmonitor, Email: email@example.com and Phone: 866-Our-Vote
Ushahidi launched USAelectionmonitor.com last week, to much fanfare. So far they have received and published over 65 reports, the majority reporting on an easy early voting experience, but some reports of voter intimidation. They have also brought on some important partners in the past view weeks. They have partnered with other technology organization, Twilio, to handle all the text messages. They have partnered with Georgetown University to share data, who has been working to track acts and threats of violence around the election over the past year. Perhaps most importantly, Ushahidi is partnering with the Election Protection Committee, who run 866-Our-Vote, one of the largest non-partisan election monitoring organizations in the USA. Ushahidi will be escalating any issues on Election Day directly to 866-Our-Vote, so that a legal expert can be deployed quickly to respond to the issue.
While there are incredible, well-run, election monitoring organization out there doing the good work, Ushahidi believes that USAelectionmonitor.com can help add to the fight for safe, transparent, and fair elections: “It allows regular citizens to raise their voice. It puts a lot more eyes out there. And importantly, it creates a feeling of unity, transparency and engagement,” said Manning.
As election day is on our doorstep, Ushahidi wants the citizens of the USA to let their country know if everything goes well or if they witness or experience any type of issue, that they should raise their voice as well as their vote.
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