IT gurus who were expecting an international tender to design an application to be used in the next presidential polls may think otherwise.
A made in Rwanda application is already active and the owner, a student, said it is available for public use since it is his contribution to nation building.
The “Online Voting System” was developed by Yves Niyonshuti, a 4th year student in Computer Sciences at the Institute of Applied Sciences (INES) Ruhengeli.
His school used the application in the voting of university students’ association last week and it was found “perfect in such a way that it can be used in very important elections.”
To access the system, all a voter needs is to have the application installed in his/her computer or mobile phone and can navigate following instructions.
Once installed and running, users can log on to www.vote.ines.ac.rw , open the main page, access the menu and a list of candidates for particular elective positions. Users can also see photos of candidates and click on adjacent icons to vote.
After voting, this interactive platform sends you a confirmation that you have successfully voted for your favorite candidate.
This feedback is accompanied by the number of votes your candidate has already attained.
To vote, one has to be registered in the system. You vote only once and when you try to vote for the second time, the application system denies you access.
After the closure of poll stations, the system automatically closes as well, which prevents vote rigging.
“Our leaders always encourage us to find solutions to problems in our society. Mine intends to reduce time spent in queues at polling stations. You can vote from home,” said the application owner-Niyonshuti.
His lecturer, Clement Munyentwali told KT Press he is helping the student to fine-tune the application and make it flexible to every kind of elections.
“We shall advocate for this property to be a national program,” said Munyentwali.
“Our dream is that new technology becomes a tool that facilitates Rwandans in all their businesses.”
Niyonshuti’s Online Voting System comes at a time when preparations for the August 2017 presidential elections in Rwanda are in high gear with some components using online system.
Bokasa Moses, Director of Communication at National Electoral Commission told KT Press, eligible voters aged over 18 years can register through an online voters’ roll, or can update their new domicile.
As for elections, Bokasa said the commission is yet to begin using online voting system, but they will have to test its effectiveness.
“We had several proposals earlier, but we found them ineffective. Lastly an expatriate proposed very expensive software and when we tested it, we realized it could not serve our purpose,” he said.
National Electoral Commission also referred to the systems regional countries are trying to use and noted several shortfalls within their operations.