Six online initiatives to enable citizen control over the election process

Perhaps never before have elections to Ukraine’s parliament, which will take place this Sunday, been held under such public scrutiny. Ukraine paid a high price for free elections, which is why voters want the process conducted honestly this time around. Thus the country is seeing the emergence of a variety of online-voting services, mobile apps and websites with the aim of making the elections honest and transparent.

Leading Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA has selected six of the most popular pre-election online projects.

A Facebook poll in the run-up to the parliamentary elections was launched even before the electoral campaign. Since then, almost 33,000 Internet users made their selection. Nobody knows who created the poll, but is perhaps the largest on Uanet.

To date, Samopomich, the party of Lviv (Lvov) mayor Andriy Sadoviy leads with a considerable margin (42.5%), followed by far-right “Right Sector” (10.2%), the “People’s Front” of Arseniy Yatsenyuk (9.3%), and the Bloc of President Petro Poroshenko (8.1%).

Facebook election app

  • ProSvit:” modeling election results

Created by activists Natalia and Nazar Bartosik about six months ago, online voting at ProSvit models the October elections for the Verkhovna Rada. The survey began on September 28th and has attracted more than 7,000 participants. The goal of the project is to show the difference between the opinions of Internet users and those of the general population answering opinion surveys.

On the site, there is also a map showing the distribution of survey respondents by region of the world. Voters on “ProSvit” are primarily Ukrainian, but some also come from Russia (notable that they typically vote for “Right Sector”), the United States, and Europe.

Each user may only vote once, but immediately for seven parties (the survey aims to determine which political forces should enter parliament). The system protects against the “twisting” of votes, but it is nonetheless possible to bypass its security. The project, which has been developed by its creators, is non-commercial in nature, but Bartosik plans to monetize it in the future.

The ministry of internal affairs released the interactive map in May, prior to the presidential election, and has since repurposed it for the parliament elections. Using the data from this map, each citizen can obtain information about offenses relating to the electoral process, as well as monitor the response of the police and its work on the violations, reports the department.

Vibori 2014

The system allows users to track the dynamics of the registration of messages at specific time intervals and to statistically and visually compare the situation in different regions of Ukraine.

The ministry hopes to use the system to reduce the cases of intentional data manipulation or false representation by several media outlets, but users report that the instrument is unstable and it remains difficult to obtain relevant information through it.

The “Opir” project was launched in February, during the Maidan revolution. It was an interactive map, allowing users to track, in real-time, events on the main square of the country. In the spring, at the time of the presidential election, it was possible to use Opir to track violations of voting rights and the progress of the electoral process. Today, the creators have repurposed the project for the elections to the Verkhovna Rada.

The activists have also developed apps for Android and iOS, which allow users to report electoral violations directly from their smartphones.

  • OPORA:” A set of e-democracy instruments

OPORA, a non-governmental organization created during the revolution, has developed instruments for e-democracy. During the presidential campaign this past spring, the NGO made map of electoral violations available on its web site. The map has since been converted for use during the parliamentary elections.


Together with the Institute for Mass Information, OPORA has also released “Elections 2014,” a mobile app for Android, which presents itself as an educational and practical guide for journalists and electoral observers. The app contains a collection of the laws and regulations of the Ukrainian Central Election Commission, manuals, instructions to observers, complaint forms and violations of election laws, forms for reporting violations of the rights of journalists, and other practical advice.

  • Rada-2014:” Candidates labeled from “clean” to “extremely dirty”

Finally, a new site aims to help voters making the right selection and calls upon them to identify those who they would not like to see in the new parliament. “Rada-2014” was created by the RAM 360 marketing agency, the Ukrainian Crisis Media-center, and the “Chesno” civic organization, allows users to understand the “cleanliness” of the reputation of various candidates.

The service, available in Ukrainian and Russian, allows users to view the candidate’s reputation as defined by 13 criteria. Within his district, the user can delete all “knopkodavov” (ex-members of the Communist Party of Ukraine or those who voted for the “Dictator Laws” of January 16, 2014). Depending on compliance with the criteria, candidates are labeled as “clean,” “dirty,” “very dirty,” or “extremely dirty.”

Voters can enter the number of their district, select the criteria by which they wish to filter out dishonest deputies, and obtain a general map of the  corresponding candidates and party lists in their district.

A general rating of “cleanliness,” in the form of a diagram, is applied to parties. Each party is represented by a different color.

There is also a list of the “purity” of the candidates from each party, based on the district. For example, the “cleanest” candidate in the Darnitsky region represents the “Samopomich” Party (97%), while the “dirtiest” comes from the Communist Party of Ukraine.

Topics: E-government, Internet, News
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