referendum day; following events online

My interest in Twitter begins (and ends?) with revolution. The #egypt hash tag on twitter has been totally engrossing for weeks and continues to be. Today was the referendum and again, twitter was alive with people tweeting about standing in line/debating yes or no votes. Disclaimer — twitter is not the reason the revolution happened, but it’s been a good way to keep up with changing events/opinions/incidents as they arise, during the times when the internet was operational and a lively site for political debate, abbreviated as it might be.

Had some meetings, but also found some time to just talk with people out and about — talked about voting. I met a few university students who told me that everything is different now after the revolution — they feel they have possibilities they never had before, that they can maybe get a job, do things they didn’t think of doing before. They voted for the first time today. It’s exciting for me to vote in the states, hard to imagine just how exciting it would be to vote for the first time in the first vote you ever thought your vote would be counted legitimately in.

I have some choice photos of people on the street giving me the inked-finger — you dip your finger to mark that you’ve voted to prevent people from going back again and again.


Similar to twitter, but more specific — this site shows a running list of reports from election monitors sent via the mobile data collection platform developed by Horytna Radio The site is in Arabic — I suggest opening it and translating it in Chrome and/or running through Google Translator on it.

A little bit about the referendum:
It is a yes or no vote on a set of proposed amendments.

Constitutional amendments limit a president to two four-year terms and require the president to appoint a vice president within 60 days of taking office. They also enforce judicial supervision of elections, stipulate parliament must approve any state of emergency and cancel the president’s right to use military courts.

Up to 45 million citizens were eligible to vote in the referendum in more than 54,000 polling stations across Egypt monitored by 17,000 judges, the referendum committee said. Independent monitors said turnout was heavy. Voters aged 18 or older were allowed to cast ballots using just their National ID cards, opening the door to many Egyptians who did not have special voting cards that were mandatory in previous elections. Reuters

Some articles from Al Ahram, Cairo based newspaper:
FAQ Egypt’s constitutional Referendum,

Amendments betray the spirit of Egypt’s revolution: “No” campaigners

Broadly speaking, the revolutionaries support “yes” and old guard and risk averse support “no.” A “yes”-vote campaign message was that “yes” would bring about stability sooner and that “no” would mean more disruption.

Some hash tags to check out:
#Egypt — all egypt, all the time
#jan25 — about the revolution; jan25 is the day the revolution began
#mar19 — the day of the referendum, about the referendum
#nasrcity — northern part of Cairo where people were raiding police archives, this hash about that event and following information revealed
#cairotraffic — is no joke.

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