Parallel Monitoring of Elections with Texting

IFES did an amazing test recently using texting from cell phones to improve election observation.

Citizens armed only with cell phones took part in a landmark observation project organized by IFES during elections November 17. Their task was to visit polling sites throughout Kosovo and text election results to a central server, where the results were compiled and verified before being released to the public.

This parallel vote tabulation allowed citizens to receive unofficial, yet accurate, results within hours of the polls closing. In fact, the project’s vote totals were within half a percent of the unofficial results announced by the Central Election Commission some two days later.