IEC app update on the cards
With only 35 days left until the municipal elections, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it plans to release another update for its app, on 20July.
Initially launched in 2014, the IEC app aims to inform and educate South African citizens and provide information such as results. The app is available for Android, Apple and Windows smart devices.
Last month, the electoral commission released the first of two app updates, which includes voting station information, how to apply for special votes, candidates and ballots, and electoral information. The second update goes live in July, and will include election changes and election results.
IEC CIO Libisi Maphanga says, following market analysis of what users prefer, the IEC has decided to make improvements, also changing the look and feel of the app.
Upgrading the development tool to improve efficiency and ease of running the system, as well as dealing with security issues, were the driving forces behind updating the app, he notes.
Maphanga explains: "The recent update allows voters to check their registration status and see whether we have the right information for them or not.
"To align the results, we are changing how results will be made available online and in real-time. We are working to provide a subscription [service], where voters can register to get notifications when their results become available," he continues.
According to Maphanga, the updates are an ongoing process to try and keep the mobile app relevant as well as facilitate the election processes, like the special votes.
Maphanga says as part of the first update that was done last month, pregnant women, people in wheelchairs and the elderly can use the app to register for the IEC's special votes, he adds.
While the municipal elections are scheduled for 3August, special voting will take place two days prior, on 1 and 2 August.
Maphanga says: "If citizens want to apply for special votes, the application process closes on 8July, and voters can apply for it through the app, the IEC's Web site as well as the SMS facility."
Voters can choose whether they want to be visited at home, he adds. "I've noticed that there has been a high growth of applications for special votes, especially in the last few days."