Wednesday, March 30, 2011


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Lead Image  The presidential elections may still be more than a week away, but some Nigerians have already started voting for their candidates.
There are now several platforms online that allow Nigerians with access to the Internet to vote for their favourite presidential aspirant and share their preference on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
The retired military general, Mohammadu Buhari is in the lead on two online voting sites: Nigerians Decide and Online Voting for the Nigerian 2011 Elections.
On Nigerians Decide, Mr Buhari is winning with a wide margin of 60 percent (1,378 votes) and 68 percent of the votes, respectively. He is followed by President Jonathan with 24 percent (546) and Nuhu Ribadu at 13 percent (300). Pat Utomi and Ibrahim Shekarau both have 1 percent of the votes with the remaining candidates at less than 1 percent.
Over 3,500 people have cast their vote at for the 18 different presidential aspirants.
On Nigerian 2011 Elections, the results are the same, but in different percentages. This website however, only included six contenders: Mr Jonathan, Mr Ribadu, Mr Buhari, Mr Shekarau, Dele Momodu and Mr Utomi. In its mission statement on its home page, the Nigerian 2011 elections said it was created “for Nigerians in Diaspora or Nigerians online as a whole, who will not have the opportunity to vote” in the real elections.
Option A4 of Online
Voting Websites like want to take online voting to the next level. The self-described “Option A4 of online voting”, requires voters to make their ‘vote’ public on a social network site. According to the designers on their website, Oo Nwoye, Namzo Ojeh and Ope Obembe, “Take a stand was built to fight apathy, double speak, and non commitment by our friends and colleagues on the forthcoming Nigerian elections.” Option A4 is a reference to the 1992 elections that had voters line up behind the candidate of their choice. The website claims that the 1992 were probably the freest and fairest elections ever held in Nigeria.

Unlike other online voting websites though, they do not show results in terms of which candidate is in the lead, but people can see where their friends stand on Facebook and Twitter. Take a Stand only allows you to vote for 4 candidates: Mr Buhari, Mr Jonathan, Mr Ribadu and Mr Shekarau. According to the web designers, the reason there are only four aspirants is “exactly the same reason the 20 premier league clubs do not go to the Champions League.” In order the make the voting as accurate as possible, Take a Stand and Nigerian 2011 elections only allow voters to vote once. Nigerians Decide allows web visitors to vote once every 24 hours.

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