On Wednesday, 7 May 2014, millions of South Africans will be heading to voting stations around the country to cast their votes. This act of nationalism has been made easier and less stressful thanks to the availability of the official IEC South Africa app, now available in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, which amongst others enables users to have their voter registration status and other vital details at their fingertips.
“The app is a product of our Microsoft South Africa App Factory internship programme in partnership with the IEC themselves. The Factory enables local young developers to gain invaluable work experience by turning their ideas into clever and useful apps for Windows and Windows Phone users. It is most definitely one of the handier and locally relevant ‘fruit’ to come out of this initiative,” says Clifford de Wit, development platform lead at Microsoft South Africa.
The IEC South Africa application enables users to view their registration details including crucial info they will need on voting day, such as the address of the voting station where they are registered to make their mark.
Users are able to search for the nearest voting station to their home address or view the particular one where they have been registered. They are then able to tap on a particular voting station to see it on a map and even get the driving directions to the venue from their current location. In addition, the app allows users to keep up-to-date with the latest election news by tapping into the IEC’s social media feeds including its Twitter- and Facebook pages.
Billy van Graan, the developer behind the IEC South Africa app, said that phase 1 of the development of this application took around a month to complete. Phase 2 will involve yet another week’s worth of development work and involves an update to the application that will be available before the elections. This update will enable the app to display the election results as and when these are made available by the IEC.
“Your right to vote is one of the most basic and important rights within a democracy, as it is the main method by which South African citizens are able to exercise their right to select those who represents them in government” says De Wit.
The app is available in the Windows Phone Store for smartphone users as well as in the Windows Store for PC users whose devices are powered by Windows 8.1.