Last week, before the official Iranian presidential election, citizens were able to express who they wanted to be their next president through a virtual election on their mobile phone called "We Choose." According to CNN candidates on this ballot included those that had been disqualified by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Guardian Council, since contenders would be axed if they didn't express loyalty to Khamenei or respect his vision for the nation. There are eight candidates on Iranian presidential ballot now.
The initiative was led by Garry Kasparov, a political rights activist. The program used for Iran's We Choose is similar to that of Dr. Leonid Volkovin, the former senior president of SKB Kontur, a large software company in Russia.
"[I]f we want to understand the real opinion of the Iranian people we should give them an alternative platform to vote and to express their preferences," Kasparov told Radio Free Europe Radio Library.
Russia previously used this software in October 2012 to prove to President Vladimir Putin that opposition leaders were more than "a gaggle of internet dwellers with 'no unified program,'" according to AP. The election received about 82,000 votes.
"We Choose" gave Iranians the chance to practice a basic right that feels wrongfully abused. After the 2009 election, many Iranians lost confidence in the electoral process. One thing Iranians can hope is that the next president-elect is better than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"There's a lack of trust in Iran's election system, and what happened in 2005 [when Ahmadinejad secured his first term] and 2009 were just the tip of the iceberg. For many years, there hasn't been a free and fair election in Iran," Ninma Tamaddon, a U.S.-based journalist, told Al Arabiya.
Keeping votes safe from Iran's censor
To participate in Iran's "We Choose" election, potential voters submitted an Iran-based phone to the website, and users could chose between an automated call or text message. The SMS service or call contained a phrase that were used as a password to cast their vote.
The phrase was sent to many phone numbers at the same time, keeping the voter anonymous. This two-step authentication program also made sure only one vote per person was submitted.
These steps were made to guarantee the Iranian government would not intercept the vote. It would not be the first time the government suspended phone service or websites. This happened in 2009, right before Ahmadinejad was going to publicly declare his victory, according to PC World.
Businesses can use the "We Choose" model to certify that every mobile subscriber is an authentic voter. Swift SMS Gateway has the devices to assist organizations to confirm active users and prevent scams.