Using mobile phones to monitor local elections

The International Center for Accelerated Development (ICAD) in Nigeria used SMS messages to mobilise their supporters when they found that a local election was being rigged. ICAD massively sent SMS messages to alert their members when they discovered that there was rigging taking place by means of ballot papers being thumb-printed.

The Plateau state in Nigeria held elections in March 2008. Sensitive election materials are kept at the premises of the electoral body where they are sorted out for each local government in the state and escorted by party officials, electoral commission staff, and security agents to the 17 local offices where they would be used for polls.

ICAD's viral messages about the ill-use of the election materials were so powerful that the elections were cancelled. ICAD followed this with high-level advocacy which resulted in the removal of the former electoral boss. They continue to use SMS to promote information on good governance.