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This is pretty neat. Google has launched a South African elections hub as the country prepares to go to the polls on 7 May.
The hub is the latest among the more than 40 Google has built around the world and is meant to function 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.
In building the hub, Google says, it has worked with 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.
“Technology is changing the way that voters and politicians share information, debate issues, and make informed decisions,” says Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, Policy and Government Relations Manager at Google South Africa. “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.”
According to Google, its various election hubs and resources have been used 500-million times by people around the world.
“Google’s mission is organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” Mgwili-Sibanda adds. “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.”
Image: Darryn van der Valt via Flickr.