An innovative platform for Costa Rica’s 2014 presidential elections

Photo: Ojo al voto

In the run-up to the 2014 general elections in Costa Rica, an alliance has been formed between the digital magazine Paquidermo, media outlets of the University of Costa Rica (the weekly newspaper Semanario Universidad, Canal UCR - Channel UCR - and three radio broadcasters) and the University’s research centers, to create an election news platform called Ojo al voto (An eye to the vote).

Hivos is partnering with Ojo al Voto, the United Nations in Costa Rica and other organizations to strengthen this citizen’s initiative.

Ojo al voto is an interactive platform, independent from the mainstream media,  that combines detailed information about political parties and the profiles and platforms of presidential and legislative candidates with digital storytelling and data visualizations.

The official launch was held in December 2013, during which the Rector of the University of Costa Rica, highlighted the importance of the young vote. Ojo al voto’s slogan is “la política en tu idioma” – politics in your language.

This innovative initiative is especially aimed at young voters between the age of 18 and 37, who represent 48 percent of the electorate according to Costa Rica’s Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE). A poll published by the daily newspaper ‘La Nación’ showed that 5 out of 10 young people claimed to be indifferent to politics. Working in this climate of apathy, Ojo al Voto’s challenge is to bring youth closer to politics.

To follow the electoral process, Ojo al Voto launched a website (www.ojoalvoto.com) and is using Twitter and Facebook, as well as apps like Instagram and Vine. 

The general election will be held on February 2nd, with citizens casting ballots for president, two vice presidents and 57 lawmakers.