SMS Keeps Elections Safe and Honest; Clickatell SMS Deployed to Invite Voters to Text Election Practices in Real Time

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First Known Initiative Using Text Messaging for Election Safety; Sudanese Able to Text Election-Related Issues Including Missing Ballots, Poll Closings and Voter Intimidation

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After the first day of elections, more than 100 text message reports were posted. Each reported incident is broken down into one of 12 categories, including 26 reports of voter tampering and 15 reports of disturbances, including violence.

In an effort to improve the conduct of last month’s election in Sudan, a group of Sudanese civil society organizations—the Sudan Institute for Research and Policy (SIRP) and Asmaa Society for Development, in collaboration with other groups—took advantage of Ushahidi’s platform, which provides an open crowdsource crisis information service, and deploys Clickatell’s text messaging gateway. Sudanese citizens were offered a reliable, efficient way to communicate unfair practices pertaining to voting—all from their mobile device.

Posted live to a special website, http://www.sudanvotemonitor.com ], Clickatell-powered mobile messages appeared on a map, letting citizens and officials know of inappropriate behavior as it happened on election day. Politics Daily reported, "After the first day of elections, more than 100 text message reports were posted. Each reported incident is broken down into one of 12 categories, including 26 reports of voter tampering and 15 reports of disturbances, including violence."

"Incorporating SMS into these important world events gives people more power, making sure people are kept safe and rights are protected," said Clickatell CEO Pieter de Villiers. "During public elections, the truth sits in the hands of the people who are present and witnessing the action at the polls. Most people carry a mobile phone, and everyone knows how to text – offering people a voice using mobile messaging makes good common sense. I commend the local Sudanese for making these communications available during such an important election."

In 2009, the US State Department used Clickatell’s text message gateway to offer the people of the Middle East and Africa the ability to text live messages during President Obama’s historic speeches, giving people who normally don’t have a voice the ability to express their opinions. In January 2010, Clickatell also worked with Ushahidi to offer the people of Haiti and Chile the ability to text life-saving information regarding food and water supply and other critical rescue information following both tragic earthquakes.

"Text messaging has fast become a crucial communications channel for people all over the world. SMS is familiar to everyone, works on every phone and is able to get through when voice messages may not," said De Villiers. "We’re proud to deliver the value that text messaging brings."

About Clickatell
Clickatell enables businesses, governments and communities to leverage the ubiquity of mobile messaging to inform, alert, notify, transact, interact and share information. Delivering mobile messaging solutions since 2000, Clickatell is a global leader in mobile communications specializing in SMS messaging as a services across 815+ mobile networks in 220+ countries, Clickatell serves 10,000+ customers including several of the Fortune 500, leading governments and communities globally. Clickatell has also formed strategic partnerships with a number of industry leaders including RSA Data Security, Entrust, S1, mFoundry, Fundamo, IBM, and others. Clickatell products and services increase customer acquisition, improve loyalty and build trusted brands through direct, personal, easy, and immediate communications. Backed by Sequoia and Ethos, Clickatell is headquartered in Redwood City, CA, and has offices in South Africa.

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Kelly Brieger
Clickatell
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Kerryn-Leigh Anderson Eksteen

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