Myanmar election launches first Digital Nationwide Voter List database
Myanmar election data on candidates and voters is now accessible on a digital database. This new infrastructure has brought witness to mobile apps, campaigns via SMS, and a voter list digital platform.
Since launching, the digital database has been visited by over 250,000 unique users. The voter list comprises of 33.5 million names which citizens can search to ensure their eligibility for voting day.
International organisations, such as the International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) and The Asia Foundation, have collaborated with the Myanmar Union Election Commission to make this information available on the internet.
In order to put together the voter list, IFES initiated a national rollout of the registration program. Following this, IFES paid a visit to receive information from logbooks at the General Administration Department (GAD) and to receive household lists from at the Ministry of Immigration.
To populate the candidate information, The Asia Foundation put together a Unicode-friendly data entry team to input the candidate information.
The Asia Foundation Myanmar representative found digital transformation in Myanmar to be an “inherently useful” opportunity. Since working with Indonesia for the 2014 elections, the Asia Foundation has noticed an inherent ripple effect taking place in the region. More and more countries are starting to accept technology advancement into their elections system.
Although this is a great opportunity for the Union Election Commission, this is met with capacity challenges in the transition from offline to online displays.
As the tech community in Myanmar is growing, this digitisation of data is one step towards meeting the demand for connectivity. Take the Union Election Commission for example. They have taken on new servers, an IT department, and agency wide computer systems since initiating the digital database. This online election database has followed a countrywide push for greater modernization.