Feeds

Sudanese voters get SMS hotline

Just like X-Factor, only with guns

The Power of One Infographic

Sudanese citizens might not be able to cast their ballot by SMS, but they will be able to report intimidation and violence at polling stations by SMS short code.

Voters in the forthcoming referendum on creating an independent South Sudan will be able to contribute to a crowd-sourced map of the country which is intended to show where it's safe to vote, as Fast Company reports for Gizmodo, providing unprecedented visibility of the democratic process in a country not known for the smooth way in which it runs elections.

The service, the Sudan Vote Monitor, runs on a platform called Uchaguzi (swahili for "decision"), which was developed by the Ushahidi group, and aggregates SMSed reports of polling station interference. These reports can then be verified by accredited observers. Voters can check, in real time, the conditions at their local polling station, which could be critical depending on how they intend to vote.

In a recent interview with Fast Company, the founder of Ushahidi explains that Twitter and other social networking platforms are great for western countries, but still require users to register before taking part, not to mention that Twitter users need comparatively high-spec kit, compared to SMS. An SMS short code allows anyone witnessing interference to report it instantly, without mucking about with user accounts and passwords. SMS is also extremely robust, as it is part of the GSM signalling system.

The Uchaguzi system has been used before, with some success, but the independence referendum on 9 January will be the first time it has been seen in Sudan. It would be nice to think the web page will be as empty then as it is now, but we fear come January the team, and the site, will be kept busy. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.