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Argentine Vote Watch Effort Crowd-Scours Primary Election Results

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 24 2011

In Argentina, a group of citizens are distributing the work of poring through election records from Sunday's first national primary election — and finding no shortage of irregularities.

Pablo Mancini, writing in the Huffington Post, describes Wikivotos, an initiative that makes available Portable Document Format versions of election results from throughout the country. In a spreadsheet of irregularity reports, citizens list dozens of problems, which per Google Translate include from flawed arithmetic in voting tallies to numbers that had been crossed out and overwritten without explanation.

Here's Mancini:

People are finding multiple documents with shoddy accounts, wrong numbers, missing signatures and other formal errors.

This kind of citizen audit is unprecedented in Argentina. It is one of the first exercises of collaborative work with the limited public data made available by the Government on the Internet.

Many of Argentina's politicians are using Twitter and social networks for electoral purposes. But little is said, and less is done, to push forward open government and access to open data. Perhaps Wikivotos.org is the first step toward a democracy that harnesses the benefits of technology and social collaboration made possible by the Internet.