Tunisia, the country that touched off the wider democracy movement known as the Arab Spring, was also the first country emerging from the movement to hold free elections. The historic elections were held October 23rd, 2011 and the E-Mediat Tunisia program played an exciting role in supporting this transition to democracy.
One of the NGO community’s primary goals in this process was to educate the public on the importance of voting and making sure each and every person’s voice was heard through their vote. To that end, many participated in election activities, creating Facebook pages urging people to vote and supporting candidates through diverse social media platforms using the tools and technologies they learned through the E-Mediat trainings.
One of the NGOs participating in the program, the Digital Culture Association of Sfax (ACDNS), created a platform to address local needs related to the elections. They realized a majority of Tunisians were not receiving pertinent information about the elections, and without this access, many Tunisians would miss the chance to vote and make their voice count.
On October 15, 20011, ADCNS launched an online portal called votez.tn to collect and disseminate information relating to the inaugural elections. The platform provides detailed information on electoral lists, parties, coalitions and independents contesting the elections. The votez.tn Facebook page registered an astounding 17, 500 fans within days of the site’s launch and provided hard to find information on the elections. Both the Facebook page and the website encouraged people to register to vote, provided details about candidates including their parties and platforms and comprehensive information about the election and voting process. With election information now in a centralized area, it was easily accessible for the greater population and helped many of them make a more informed choice when they showed up at the ballot boxes on the 23rd to take their place in history. As ACDNS president, Mr. Belhaj, stated “E-Mediat gave us the opportunity to learn and we used it!”