Google launches election tracker tool

2013-01-10 13:00
Google has launched a platform that promises to change the way citizens participate in election processes. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Google has launched a platform that promises to change the way citizens participate in election processes. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Google has launched a platform that promises to change the way citizens participate in election processes.

The internet giant launched a Kenya Elections Hub where voters, campaigners and the media can track trends on the election.

In 2007 to 2008, the country was wracked by bloodshed after 81-year-old President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential vote, despite accusations of vote rigging and electoral fraud confirmed by international observers.

Google said that the internet could play a critical role in transforming the way people engaged with their leaders, particularly in developing countries.

"The internet is playing increasingly an important role in transforming the way that citizens participate and engage in the elections across Africa," Google said.

The company has also made its developer tools available to the electoral commission so that they can improve voter tools and management processes.

Google said that voter engagement is vital to ensure a credible election.

"We're empowering voters so that they are not simply watching from afar, but participating in, engaging with and shaping the political process in a democratic way, through platforms like YouTube, Google Maps and Google+."

Some fear that the March 2013 poll could be marred by violence reminiscent of 2007 as tensions are building ahead of the vote.

More than 100 were killed in the Tana Delta region in August in fighting between the Pokomo people.

Simmering tensions have caused some businesses in the western city of Kisumu to close ahead of the election.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    google  |  kenya  |  east africa  |  internet  |  security

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