As campaigning for the upcoming general election kicks off in Brazil, the government has launched a range of apps intended to improve citizen engagement and inclusion in the process.
The Superior Electoral Court (TSE in the Portuguese acronym) will make three mobile apps available to provide information about candidates and the actual voting process, as well as results. All apps will be available in Android, iOS and Windows Phone versions.
The first tool - and perhaps the most interesting of the three apps - was launched on Friday (18) and provides detailed information about the candidates. The elections to be held in October will not only elect the president, but also the national Congress, state governors and state legislatures and involve some 24,000 candidates across the country.
Through the TSE app, citizens are able to see the candidate's basic information such as full name, his or her party and any coalitions associated to it. The TSE website, however, has a section that displays more detailed data about the contenders such as declared assets and forecast campaign spending - but it is not linked to the app.
A separate application will inform citizens about the voting process in Brazil, where voting is compulsory, such as wards and electoral divisions and will use geo positioning to inform the best route to get to the voting location. This app is not yet available.
Another tool, also yet to be released, will inform real-time results once the actual election starts. Since 1996, voting in Brazil uses compact, portable voting devices and a centralized process that is able to process even close elections within hours.