International IDEA and Perludem are excited to announce the launch of the Electoral Redistricting App (ERA). The release of this unique and free Geographic Information System (GIS) software has been designed to empower electoral management bodies (EMBs), civil society organizations (CSOs), researchers and other electoral stakeholders around the world to engage in the process of electoral districting.
Most GIS software are expensive, difficult to use, and is inaccessible for many small EMBs and boundary commissions. Created as an open-source tool, ERA allows users to democratize the process of delimited boundaries and enables them to design their own maps that can further research and debate. This powerful tool is also secure, with users able to create and store their maps completely offline as well as submit them for public viewing.
International IDEA’s Senior Programme Manager, Adhy Aman, explained the utility of the app in addressing two of the biggest issues in electoral boundary making— gerrymandering and malapportionment.
“Anyone, especially civil society groups fighting against malapportionment and gerrymandering, now have an easy-to-use tool to create alternative district maps that present better equal suffrage and non-discriminatory electoral districts,” he said.
Perludem’s Executive Director, Khoirunnisa Nur Agustyati spoke about the power of ERA to allow EMBs and CSOs to engage in an otherwise difficult process.
“The electoral district is a fundamental principle in the electoral system. It is a representation arena that connects the legislative with the constituent. But sometimes, it is hard to understand the electoral district since it is considered very technical and not easy to understand the terms in the electoral district,” she said, adding that ERA also provides knowledge and resources that the users can access—resources that identify how crucial electoral representation is in a democracy.
Adhy Aman, Senior Programme Manager at International IDEA, is available for interviews in English and Bahasa Indonesia, <A.Aman@idea.int>.
Kimberley Phillips, Communications Officer APA Office, <K.Phillips@idea.int>