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Technology Empowered Presidential Elections in the Middle East for the First Time

It has never happened before in the Middle East, and is expected to be a bud for more collaborative governmental online solutions. put the basic blocks for an advanced elections system that would inspire citizens to take an active role and allow the government to reach out for them. 

With such a huge population living inside the country and abroad, provided Egyptian everywhere with an easy to use tool to realize their dream of voting for their country’s president. Not only because it presented a bunch of features and services using non-costly open source software, but also because it enhanced the government’s credibility and transparency, the thing that encouraged citizens’ participation.

 In-Country Voters

The website enabled Egyptian citizens in the country to use their national ID number to find out their voting location and their electoral committee and roll number. With the use of Google maps, citizens could easily find the exact place where they can vote. For those who don’t use the internet, an API service allowed citizens to fetch the same information through telephone directory services like 140 or by sending an SMS to receive the data directly to their phone.
Out-of-Country Voters
OCVs (out-of-country voters) were issued 500,000 unique PDFs with barcodes as an authorization for counselors to take the role of judges during the elections, each holding a voter’s information. This speeded up the data entry process at Egyptian embassies abroad. On the other hand, OCVs could directly download their voting ballot to fill it up and mail it directly to the embassy. This encouraged a lot of Egyptian expats living away from their embassies to actually participate in the elections.
Information and Election Results provided the names and basic information about the candidates running for presidency to help people start on their search. A help desk was created for voters inside and outside Egypt to share their concerns, make complaints or ask for help. All the laws and articles related to the elections were shared on the website. The results on the other hand, are displayed in elaborate charts and illustrated on Google maps to show the finest details.
Quality and Reliability
To put up with the very high traffic expected to happen right before the elections, we used creative techniques that are possible using open source software. The security has been enhanced using blacklisting and whitelisting of IPs.
The whole experience was a very successful one and has inspired us with more creative and constructive ideas.