Q) What is Vote Report India?


A) Vote Report India (votereport.in) is a collaborative citizen-driven election monitoring platform for the 2009 Indian general elections. Basically, users contribute direct SMS, email, and web reports on violations of the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct. The platform will then aggregate these direct reports with news reports, blog posts, photos, videos and tweets related to the elections from all relevant sources, in one place, on an interactive map.


Q) Why should I report?


A) A successful democracy is built by citizen participation. An election, by its very nature, is the single largest opportunity for such participation. For elections to be meaningful, they need to be free, fair and peaceful. Yet, as more than 714 million voters prepare to participate in the largest democratic event in history, things can sometimes go wrong.


It can be easy to sit back and complain or worry about irregularities in our system. You may have wondered if you can really bring about a change and how it can be done. Vote Report India now gives you the opportunity to be part of the change.


We need your help in reporting problems and issues during the election through this website. If you see something wrong before, during or after the elections, speak up and be heard. Your concerns will be heard by election monitoring agencies, media and fellow citizens.


Q) How do I report?


A) You can report in any one of the following 4 ways:

   1. Submit an incident through the online form on our website

   2. Send an SMS to 5676785 with the prefix VoteReport.

   3. Send an email to report@votereport.in.

   4. Send a tweet with the hashtag #VoteReport.


For more details, refer to our reporting guide.


Q) I’ve reported an issue. What happens next?


A) Once you’ve reported on an issue, the Vote Report India team will take your report and channel it to the various news media, citizens’ networks, human rights organizations and, of course, show it on our website. We are counting on our partners to relay the information to respective Election Commissioners for appropriate action.


Q) Can I get feedback on the issue I’ve reported?


A) Unfortunately not at this point. We know it would be ideal to report back to you about resolutions on issues you’ve reported, but we’re not set up to do that. Right now, we are focusing on the first step of collecting your feedback and building awareness about issues. Of course, if we do get any resolution from the Election Commissioners, we will report it on our website.


Q) I’m concerned about my privacy and safety. Can the report be traced back to me?


A) No. We take your privacy concerns very seriously and we don’t disclose any personally identifiable information to media and other partners.


Q) How do you verify the credibility of the reports? How do you deal with abuse?


A) We don’t. As in any public reporting system, we follow the honour code. We trust participants like you to submit honest reports. If you see any fake reports, please let us know immediately.


Q) Someone has already reported what I experienced. Should I report it again?


A) Yes! Please do. More reports about an event give it more credibility and forces people to take action.


Q) Who is behind Vote Report India?


A) Vote Report India is a non-partisan all-volunteer collaboration between software developers, designers, academics, and other professionals to bring transparency to the 2009 Indian elections. See the profiles of the core team members here.


Q) What is the technology behind the Vote Report India platform?


A) Vote Report India is powered by two path-breaking non-profit open-source projects -- Ushahidi and Swift -- and managed by eMoksha. Ushahidi is an award-winning platform that crowd-sources crisis information. Swift is a platform that makes sense of multiple sources of information in a fast-changing crisis situation. eMoksha is a non-profit organization that aims to enable stronger democracies through increased citizen awareness and engagement. 


Q) How do you make money? 


A) We don't.


Q) How can I help?


A) Thank you for asking. We can use as much help as we can get, so feel free to volunteer.


Step 1: Evangelize It


We would encourage you to spend some time at our website at votereport.in to get a sense of what we are doing. If you like what we are doing, please join the Vote Report India community at Twitter (@votereportindia), Facebook, Orkut, SMSGupShup or Google Groups and subscribe to our blog. If you have a blog or a website, please consider writing about Vote Report India and displaying our banners (200X200 and 150X150) on your blog or website.


Step 2: Use It


The next step is to actually use the Vote Report India platform. Please read our Reporting Guide to see how to send reports on irregularities in the Indian elections.


Step 3: Volunteer


If you have some time to spare, we’d welcome your help. Volunteer opportunities are available in many areas. Please contact the leads within each area.