Kabataan app clues youth in on voter pulse through mock polls

Soon, voters can turn to their mobile phones to see who among the presidentiables have the best chance at being the country’s next leader.

The Kabataan Partylist on Thursday launched the Kabataan, Tayo ang Pag-asa (KTAP) app which allows mobile internet users to participate in mock election polls ahead of the national elections on May 9 next year.

The KTAP app will serve as a platform for election-related news and updates, mock polls, voter education and a tool to combat electoral fraud.

At the app launch held at the Mapua Institute of Technology in Intramuros, Manila, Kabataan president Marjohara Tucay said the app was made possible through the collective effort of youth groups and students who volunteered to create the mobile mock election system.

The app, which was developed last August, has the following features:

“Boto Kabataan” or the mock polls is the main component of the app that allows the users to vote their candidates, both local and national, for every voting cycle. The cycle will start on every first day of the month from January until April. The final results will come out on May 1.

The votes will be recorded in a secure database. And to ensure that the votes will not be tampered, security measures will be put in place with the help of the Computer Professionals Union.

Another feature is the “Election updates” will show the latest news on the elections. Like an RSS feed, all election-related articles from several news websites will appear in the page.

KTAP also compiled the profiles of national candidates which will be available on the “Candidate Profile” page of the app.

Last is the “Bantay Boto” feature where users can easily send a report of election violation or electoral fraud. The reports will appear and can be shared on Facebook.

The developers said the reports will be encoded in a database and will be forwarded to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The app is still currently under beta testing but it will be available for download on December 30 through Google Playstore and Apple App Store.

Only Facebook users

Before the users can participate in the mock polls, they have to have a Facebook account. Only Facebook users with Philippines as their “location” or “hometown” will be allowed to vote.

Unlike the election surveys commissioned by the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia, the KTAP app will allow anyone with a Facebook account to participate in the polls.

“We thought there were several election polls like SWS, Pulse Asia, but oftentimes, hindi natin alam kung saan galing ang pulso (we don’t know where the pulse is coming from). These surveys are conducted among 300 people and that influences the political environment right now,” Tucay said.

He said they are envisioning thousands of users to participate in KTAP’s mock polls.

Obstacle

While brainstorming over dinner, the developers thought of promoting stronger electoral engagement to the youth through technology.

“We were talking about building the campaign movement. Sometime in March, we were having dinner and we thought, what could we do for the youth to have a stronger engagement (in the elections). We can’t hold a forum only,” Tucay said.

“One obstacle we have to hurdle is the very small attention span of the youth,” he said.

Tucay said they believe that this obstacle can be solved by technology, thus the creation of the app.

“We thought that if we do something to penetrate the sphere of attention of the youth, that’s by creating a mobile app,” he said.

SOURCE

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