Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Ahead of Russian Elections, a Hope that Tech Will Keep Them Clean

BY Raphael Majma | Monday, February 27 2012

Polls are currently predicting that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will win the March 4 first round Presidential election by a comfortable margin, and some online activists are hoping that their election-monitoring projects will keep the election clean.

The Rosvybory project promises to train people in becoming election observers and help them with the paperwork necessary to qualify as official election monitors. The project is the latest product of Alexei Navalny, a blogger turned activist whose previous efforts, RosPil and RosYama, followed a similar vein of anti-corruption efforts. Currently, the site has registered over 16,000 citizen volunteers. (Through a spokesperson, Navalny declined to comment.)

Yabloko, a social liberal party, wants voters to be able to take these tools with them in to the polling station. The ”I am an Observer” Android and iPhone app, created by Appsolute in conjunction with the Yabloko party, provides information on what observers need to look out for when monitoring a polling station. The app gives monitors a “cheat sheet” for each period of the voting process, including before the station opens, during the voting period, and when ballots are counted. The app also lets users send video, photo, and text-based information to a team of lawyers that are tasked with acting against potential fraud.

Even Putin is taking advantage of the trend to try and stem public distrust over the veracity of the election. He is expected to provide approximately 35,000 election observers and has currently installed a massive network of 54,000 cameras to monitor election-polling centers. The total number of cameras will reach approximately 182,000, which will stream footage of “ballot boxes and vote-counting” on election day.

News Briefs

RSS Feed friday >

First POST: Upgrades

Obama tech veterans heading to Hillary 2016?; renewed calls for Obama to stop collecting Americans' phone metadata; FCC upgrades its definition of broadband service, finally; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Blogrolling

How Canada spies on its citizens' web behavior; with uber-blogger Andrew Sullivan quitting the field, whither political blogs; how big data is helping prevent homelessness in NYC; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Jargon Busters

Changes in the RNC's tech team; big plans for digital democracy in the UK; how people in Cuba are making their own private Internet; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Stalking

How the DEA tracks millions of America motorists; will the Senate enter the 21st century?; Obama veteran Jeremy Bird's role in the upcoming Israeli election; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Video Stars

How the White House hit a home run on YouTube post-State of the Union; why the Barrett Brown sentencing casts a chill on online security research; how media producers use Crowdtangle to optimize their Facebook audiences; and much, much more. GO

More