Your Questions - Our Answers

Who was eligible to vote in the Virtual General Elections?

The Virtual General Elections by Mauritius Global Diaspora was open to ALL Mauritians living anywhere in the world, including in Mauritius.

This is highlighted in the Voter Consent Form.

How was the Virtual General Elections organised?

The Virtual General Elections was organised by a team of 8 individuals with various skillsets, professionals for the most part, who made this project a reality within a month (5 April 2021 to 15 May 2021).  Attention was paid to as much details as possible within that period to ultimately deliver a Virtual General Election with an overall rate of interaction beyond expectations.

Is there a Political Entity behind the Virtual General Elections?

There is NO Political Entity behind Mauritius Global Diaspora.

We are not paid or financed by any entity, political or otherwise.  We are a group of volunteers who worked for countless hours, running video calls until late in the morning, sometimes to discuss an upcoming debate, sometimes to work and finalise a poster design or to rigorously test a functionality on our website.  As professionals, while leading this project, we have kept our personal and professional commitments, managing the different expectations in all these aspects so we could help make this Virtual General Elections a reality.

We did this out of patriotism and we do not have set political agendas or plans for active politics. There are reports we are aware of on Social Media that make the FALSE claim that this Virtual General Elections was accomplished with the support of a political party or leader. We understand the right of everyone to express themselves.  However, slander, defamation and libel are serious crimes and anybody who defames Mauritius Global Diaspora and individuals associated with it without substantial proof or evidence may be committing an offense under UK legislation under which Mauritius Global Diaspora.

As mentioned, we worked on this project voluntarily and we are grateful to all those who have genuinely supported us all along. We strongly believe in walking the walk rather than just talking the talk. We have started this initiative in the interest of the public good, for our country and we welcome aboard anyone who is happy to join us on this noble enterprise.

If you have any questions or require clarifications as to the independence or integrity of the group, please feel free to contact us so we can promptly address the issue at hand.

Why was the Virtual General Elections extended from 8-9 May 2021 to 8-15 May 2021?

The Virtual General Elections, initially scheduled for 00:00 8 May 2021 to 23:59 9 May 2021, was extended to 12:00 15 May 2021.  This decision was taken by the team after we had analysed user experience, Website Analytics and the hundreds of emails and messages we were receiving that many people were experiencing technical issues, thus impeding the virtual vote.

In the spirit of Democracy to give a voice to all and not just a few, we decided that it was unfair that many people who had shown an interest to vote or tried to do so could not for various reasons.

We therefore decided that the best decision was to extend the voting period to allow those who could not participate in the elections to cast their vote.

Extending the elections, especially when it is an Electronic Voting process is a much easier and simple process. We have seen this happening in real life elections in several countries across the world;

What issues did the Voters face?

We noticed voters faced several types of issues:

  1. We found that many people were not able to follow each step outlined in the user guide that is provided prior to voting. The guide highlighted the use of a Mobile Phone connected to Mobile Internet and on a Chrome or Safari Web Browser.
  2. Some people were clicking on the Voter Consent Form and thinking that they had already voted.
  3. Some people were opening the Voting link from within Facebook which opened it in Android Web Viewer or Safari (in-app). This causes a problem whereby the Voting Session gets reset automatically once the Voter closes the Facebook app to check their email.  As illustrated below, at least 43.16% of voters were accessing the Voting page using a browser other than the recommended ones.                         
  4. Over 10% of people were using their computer/laptops to access the webpage when this was not recommended.                                                             
  5. People were unknowingly closing their voting session when going to check their unique Voter OTP Code in their email. This would cause their device to be blocked from voting again due to a security measure.  A pop-up with error message “You Already Participated” then appears to prevent the user from voting again even if they could not finalise their vote.  As we have highlighted previously, votes do not get validated or counted if a Green Tick does not appear after entering the unique Voter OTP Code.
  1. Some people were typing in the wrong email address on the Voting form – when this happens, our SMTP server sends us mail delivery failure emails. We had a lot of such emails during the Election Period. This meant that people who typed in the wrong email were under the impression that our system was not working effectively as they had not received their unique Voter OTP Code.                                                                                               
  2. Some people were getting their unique Voter OTP Codes in their Spam or Junk mailbox. We recommended people to ensure they checked their Spam or Junk folder whenever they voted.
  1. We also had an alarmingly high number of people who were forwarding their unique Voter OTP Code to us once they received it. Our team then manually responded to each person, via email or a phone call to explain to those voters that they had not yet voted and provided a step-by-step explanation on how to ensure their votes get validated.

  1. We had nearly 2000 people contacting us via our Contact Us form on our website, many with messages such as ‘party x’ or ‘I am voting for’, thus thinking that that was the right way for them to vote.
  1. We had hundreds of people claiming that their OTP codes were not validated and the system said ‘You Already participated’. We had to manually, with our available resources, get in touch with these people to explain to them that this error is expected because the system automatically blocks voters from re-voting as it noticed an attempt to vote again after having closed the previous Voting session.  This happened when voters closed their Voting sessions to check their emails, especially when using Android Web Viewer or Safari(in-app) web browsers.  This information was highlighted in the Voter User Guide and the video guide, as well as on several of the Live Debates during the Election Period.
  1. However, we also had a lot of people who did follow the instructions carefully and were able to vote successfully.

Why did you not implement SMS OTP Voter Codes?

Getting your unique Voter OTP Code via SMS would have been a more user-friendly experience for many voters who had difficulties voting.  We considered and discussed that as an alternative solution.  This meant that our Voting system could use a third-party service to send unique Voter OTP Codes via SMS messages to people anywhere in the world.  However, we had to consider the high costs of the procedure.  International text messaging would quickly shoot up the budget for the organisation of the Virtual General Elections into the thousands of pounds or hundreds of thousands of rupees.

As we were on a mission to demonstrate that this first Virtual General Election project could be set up from a sheer citizen energy, we decided that this somehow defeats the purpose of our initiative. We think SMS OTP Voting is an option to consider in the future.

Was the Virtual General Elections only for the Mauritian Diaspora?

As we have mentioned during Live Debates, Radio Interviews and Social Media posts, the Virtual General Elections was open to ALL Mauritians living in Mauritius and abroad.

Did Members of the Mauritian Diaspora constitute the bulk of voters in this Virtual General Elections?

We cannot determine each voter’s location as our Voting App does not record this information, nor do we have the intention to do so for obvious privacy concerns.  We also do not review validity of phone numbers that voter input as this data is only used by the Voting app to create a unique Voter OTP Code.  Any such information has now been erased permanently after the results of the Virtual General Elections were announced, as outlined in our Voter Consent and witnessed by the Independent individual who verified the results and monitored the Voting Data Deletion.

What is the percentage of Voters by Country?

We cannot confirm an exact percentage of Voters per country as we do not record this data.  However, we can provide a hypothesis on where most voters might probably be from, based on Analytics data on our website.  Below is snapshot of visitors from the Top 10 Countries to our website during the Elections period.

The majority of people who visited our website during the Virtual General Elections period were from Mauritius.  Therefore, based on this set of data, we can conclude that it is quite possible that most voters were from Mauritius, followed by the UK, then France and finally Canada.

What do you do with our data after the Virtual General Elections?

If you voted in our Virtual General Elections via our website anytime between 8 May and 15 May 2021, your voting data has already been deleted, as per GDPR Regulations.  Mauritius Global Diaspora is registered with the ICO (Information Commissioners Office), we are therefore under obligation to ensure your data is handled as per GDPR regulations.

This information was made available at the start of a Voting session on our website.  In order to proceed to Vote, you would have to click to Agree after reading all terms set out on the Voter Consent Form.

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