2014 has been a very busy year for the Agora Voting project, we achieved participation records, there were great advances in development and also the AgoraVoting SL company was born thanks to the main contributors of the project and also thanks to its main customer, Podemos, the great political phenomenon of the year.
But not everything was about Podemos in 2014.
As we did last year we will try to summarize a bit what happened. With all these developments it is difficult to know where to start, so we’ll start at the beginning.
One only needs to go back to the beginning of the year to see the humble origins of this project. In January we confirmed the constitution of the small political party PACO in the online platform of Agora Voting with the goal of promoting ‘liquid democracy’ in Orihuela, Spain. It was also one of the seeds that will allow us to close the year with the same players we started it with.
The technical advances were also modest, e.g. we proposed using bitcoin for distributed authorities, but today it is still a project in the pipeline. We also received some voluntary contributions with new logo designs for the platform.
In February we took a huge step forward in the development of the project, it was used online for the Multireferendum consultation in Catalonia but mainly it was used in the Spanish Pirates’ primaries to elect candidates for the European elections, this process served as the basis for the primaries of the Podemos civil movement that became revolutionary.
Ina technical sense, the organization for the blind ONCE gave us a study to improve accessibility. Also in February the first crowdfundings were made to implement and further develop the tool. Podemos used its own platform to finance some € 1,500 and Multirreferendum dedicated part of their crowdfunding in Goteo to implement Agora Voting.
In March we saw the impact that Podemos could have in national politics, Pablo Iglesias announced primaries in Podemos and the Spanish actor Alberto San Juan taught us how to vote with Agora Voting.
We also got some key collaborations to give greater legitimacy to this democratic processes, the NGO Civio provided technical support to act as voting authority, which acts as a neutral witness to ensure the supervision of the process, the same would happen with NGO OpenKratio later on.
APRIL – MAY
Podemos held its primaries, the relevance of Pablo Iglesias is key to a participation that reached 33,000, a record for the platform.
The resounding success was the first of many, and it helped the platform advance in every sense. Technically, the tool improves considerably, Podemos extends the requirements and functions, new documentation is generated and the elections provide tens of thousands of “beta-testers”.
After the success of Podemos in the European elections, the citizen participation grows exponentially, and is also reflected in the number of collaborators with Agora Voting, several programming meetings are held
and the abdication of the King leads to the Referendum Real Ya initiative with the participation of over 80,000 people.
JULY – AUGUST
The left-wing party Izquierda Unida joins the online primaries trend and organizes the primaries of IU Andalusia with Agora Voting, online internal democracy promises to become a new standard.
Meanwhile, Podemos keeps growing rapidly, their circles and supports are increasing and Agora Voting collaborates with the Podemos ICT circle to advance the development of the tool.
In September the main programmers of the platform take a crucial jump and the company AGORA VOTING SL is formed, its objective is clear, to provide the continuity and sustainability of the project.
In October this objective is specified in the development of Agora Voting 3.0. So far the most advanced implementations of the program require more manual intervention than would be satisfactory, with the high cost it has. Edulix and David aspire to bring this platform to the web and make it accessible to everyone.
To achieve this goal a new crowdfunding is launched, however it is not very successful and the development of the tool will depend on the customers of Agora Voting SL. Work on Podemos and other organizations continues to fund the advancement of the tool, after all that’s the great advantage of free software, everything adds up.
Podemos continues to increase its numbers, 112,070 people vote the constitutional documents.
In November Agora Voting participated in several important gatherings, in Austria the EVOTE2014 meeting on electronic voting was held at European level. Also Julia Reda, the pirate MEP, held a meeting to promote the use of liquid democracy.
The dissemination of the project is also notable in Spain, this article in the newspaper diario.es extolled its virtues and this other article by Ricardo Galli demonstrated the importance of outside observers.
The year finished in a circle, Podemos held internal elections in the municipal circles, which could well serve to envision how will Agora Voting 3.0 be.
The platform already shows great maturity and professionalism, this is the result of a great job where 85,000 voters participated in the election of candidates for 769 municipalities in as many simultaneous elections. There we see an old acquaintance who already one year ago was supporting the online democracy.
We have not yet discovered tachyons so we can’t tell the future, but we’re already organizing 2015. The first news is the presence of Agora Voting in Fosdem the last day of January. It is the largest European gathering of free software and we attempt to disseminate the project in Europe.
Apart from that, the goals and dreams remain the same, here is wishing you a free and democratic year!