November 29, 2011
Google creates one stop hub for Egyptian election information
Cairo, Egypt,November 28, 2011 – In line with Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, the company unveiled its plans to help empower Egyptians with information during the upcoming elections.
Google launched an Elections landing page as a hub for elections information, aggregating news and videos from various sources categorized by parties and issues. Voters will also be able to find out their electoral districts, polling stations, and candidate information directly from the Supreme Judicial Committee for Elections’ information services as they become available. As the elections get underway new features will be added to the Elections hub landing page, www.google.com.eg/elections, such as elections results.
Google technologies like Google Maps and Google Elections API play a key role in helping making public information available not just through the internet but also through mobile phones. SMS services provided by mobile operators enable access to information access to an even larger segment of voters.
Google also launched a Doodle to celebrate the historic vote on www.google.com.eg. Google Doodles aim to commemorate major local events, people and key milestones such as holidays and anniversaries that have local cultural significance.
In addition, Google launched the YouTube Town Hall “Sayyed Qarrak” http://www.youtube.com/sayyedqararak or “Have Your Say”. The YouTube Townhall is on online place for Egyptian politicians to share their viewpoints on the most important issues to Egyptian citizens and includes nearly 400 videos with answers from candidates on multiple voter issues on everything from the economy to education.
Users can flip through responses by issue, region or political party and easily find their local candidates and their responses. The aim was to organize political information in a fresh and meaningful way, which will encourage more people to get involved in the political process and thoughtfully consider current issues on the minds of Egyptians, connecting people with political information through video.
Samir ElBahaie, Regional Policy and Government Affairs Manager, Google Middle East and North Africa said “Google is committed to educating voters on the key issues in this election and empowering them to have a voice in this critical conversation. He added, the Internet is playing an increasingly significant role, helping bolster civic engagement and has become a powerful mechanism for information sharing in Egypt and around the world.”
The rise in online engagement around elections shows up vividly in Google’s own research tools. During election seasons Google’s “Insights for search” consistently shows huge spikes in voting related queries. There is no doubt, that Egyptians will be online looking for information about the upcoming elections, and Google wants to make it easy for them to find that information.
Updated: November 29, 2011 2:10 PM