Google is highlighting the 2011 Egyptian elections with a doodle on its search homepage for Egypt. Each of the six letters that spell out “Google” perform an action of the voting process — from waiting in line to adding a vote to the ballot box.
Monday marks the country’s first parliamentary elections since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in the wake of a massive uprising earlier this year. Polls are open in Cairo, Alexandria and seven other provinces. Giza, Aswan and Suez voting begins on Dec. 14, Bloomberg reports.
Though it’s uncertain whether the Google doodle will inspire Egyptians to vote, they’re undoubtedly taking notice.
“I find [the Goodle doodle] very significant to the new generation in Egypt that uses technology. We all know what Google is and what it means for them to give us some international attention,” says Nasry Esmat, an Egyptian journalist living in New York. “The doodle adds more to our pride.”
The doodle isn’t Google’s first contribution to the much-anticipated Egypt elections. In September, the company developed an election API to facilitate the voting process. It not only gave citizens easy access to elections information, including polling locations and candidate profiles, but also allowed mobile service providers the opportunity to develop election applications for search engine optimization.
“The majority of Egyptians still cant use the Internet or computers, but these tools are very effective because they help those who have basic knowledge to spread the information,” Esmat says. “And, honestly, those who have basic knowledge are the ones who can make change in Egypt.”