Kenyan startup Ushahidi launches a crowdsourced campaign to monitor the U.S. election

November 7th, 2016  |  Source:

The Kenyan software company Ushahidi has launched a campaign to observe the upcoming U.S. elections.

The operation, called USA Election Monitor, will track voting irregularities reported via website, email, Twitter and SMS and post accounts to an online interactive map.

 “It’s a citizen-inspired, citizen-led election deployment,” Ushahidi’s Executive Director Daudi Were told TechCrunch.

While Ushahidi was used in the 2012 presidential election, namely for polling by the Obama campaign, Were says there are unique factors in the 2016 race that warrant the company’s attention.

“There are some issues in this U.S. election that are pretty unprecedented around voter suppression and other voting irregularities,” said Were. “Ushahidi does election monitoring in 40 countries around the world. We said: ‘Why not for the U.S.?’ ”

Ushahidi’s interactive U.S. link has specific reporting tabs for long lines, ballot issues, voter suppression or witnessing violence. “The system also allows for reporting positive experiences and no issues at all,” said Were.

November 8 is the official date for Americans to vote for the next U.S. president, 469 open congressional seats and other state and local races.

Ushahidi will manage its 2016 U.S. operation from its Nairobi headquarters and through a team of its 30 staff in 8 countries, including the U.S.

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