High Turnout Expected in Elections 2013, Thanks to Social Media and Cell Phones

400685_620609734634447_81198723_nIt is a proven fact that trend in close-online-friends and the status updates from brands and community pages — that individuals follow — help boost turnout in elections.

USA and other regions have already seen the difference and influence that online social networking websites can make on political behaviour in the real world.

Experts in west believe that reminder call for voting on Election day can be crucial. A group of researchers from University of California, San Diego, said – in a report published in Nature Magazine — that status updates on Facebook and Twitter on Election day can push voters to go out and caste their vote. They estimated that chances of casting a vote increases by 60 percent if a close friend(s) talks about casting a vote on social media website.

“Social influence made all the difference in political mobilisation,” said lead author James Fowler of UC San Diego.

Increased usage of social media in Pakistan, coupled with huge – politically motivated – SMS traffic are going to exert the similar impact on Pakistani voters as well.

Interestingly, all major brands – local and multinational – are channelizing their efforts to put pressure on voters to get out of their home on Election day. Same goes for all those large community pages from Pakistan on Facebook – having millions of fan following – pushing the users to go out and vote on May 11th.

Users reported 90 percent plus updates on Facebook and Twitter about Elections in their feeds today, hinting a good turnout this elections.

Experts believe that governance issues during previous government is another key reason for high turnout, however, political mobilization was never possible without the input from social media websites.

A digital media expert at a cellular firm, while speaking with ProPakistani, said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was first political party that took social media seriously. He said that trend was soon replicated by other political parties resulting into notable political activity on Facebook and other social networking websites.

“All this happened in previous two to three years. But see the influence and impact of these social media websites that we will have more voters on May 11th, 2013 than ever before”, he maintained.

Text messages are another medium used to recall the voters about the Election. Industry sources confirm that SMS traffic during last two weeks of election crossed 1 billion messages per day – which is usually 300 million to 400 million per day.

These text messages – sent in roman Urdu and unicide too – are also reaching those who are not connected to internet and those who can’t even read or understand English.

While we are yet to get the exact figures on voters’ turnout, but if experts are to be believed then a higher turnout is expected tomorrow.

Just a note, the job isn’t over yet. Keep updating your Facebook and Twitter feeds with pro-voting status to pressurize your lazy friends to go out of their comfort zones and to Vote!

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • 1 baat to mani pare gi Imran Khan ne youth me wo jazba bhar diya jo aj se pehle mene ny dekha aj se pehle jab b elections howe to roads p itne gehma gehmi ny hoti thi abhi mea a raha tha to sab roads political parties k flags se bhari hn sb isko as a event k trha mana re han bht josh jazbe se
    Thanks to PTI
    My prayers are with PTI

    • RahHan

      Dear I am agree with you…. aik or Khoobi hai Imran Khan ke os ny Soye hoay Naan Nehaad Shairon ko bhi jaga diya hai…. meri sub sy guzarish hai plz khawateen ke tarha ghar na bethen 11 May ko… Bahir niklain vote cast karen jis party ko bhi karen kyun k vote zameer ke awaaz hota hai… zimeer bikao ho to phir vote bhi bik jata hai. Mein umeed karta hon k Vote ko farq samajh kar cast kaen or zaroor karen. Imran Khan is the greatest leader of All time. May Allah bless him and give him success.

      • Agree with you.

      • Khalid Ahmed

        I don’t know why corrupt PPP government and party wasn’t Imran’s 1st target. Definitely it was a fear that PMLN will win ?I will not be able to vote to any as I am not in Pakistan but I don’t think I would have voted for any of these including Imran.

    • Sumair

      you are right bro, 2008 k elections mai mjhe ye tak nai pata tha k mera halka konsa hai aur is mai konsa candidate hai, but ab interest itna barh gaya hai k sab pata karaya hai. And all this credit goes to Imran Khan jis ne ye jazba hum naujawano mai bhar dia!! My vote for PTI!!

    • Khalid Ahmed

      Aaj say pahly aap kafi chotay thay na Allii bhai ,warna ye jazbay qaum pahly bhe dekh chuki ha :)

  • Gulab Shah

    warning a recent report says that tsunami will hit whole pakistan on polling station to vote PTI

    • Khalid Ahmed

      Tsunami is coming? Oppss so all should save life and stay home, as Tsunami kills, just like “Sher” is wild animal.

  • Omair Ahmed

    So we shall see on 12-13May, 2013….whose the winner and who sit on opposition bench.. :P

  • Jafer

    It’s Unicode, not unicide.

  • S

    Took frustrating 5 hours to vote and that too at place 2 km away from home even though polling station were present near home as well… Jan bojh k door rakha ta k logon ko takleef ho without transport availability…