For the past several years, we’ve worked to engage voters in the electoral process, creating election websites in countries around the globe. A notable recent example was Kenya. Now we’re gearing up for the Italian elections scheduled for February 24 and 25.

Our Italian elections project builds on previous initiatives in the country to promote dialogue between politicians and the public. We aim to go beyond spreading information about the vote, focusing on promoting the interaction between citizens and politicians through digital tools. Policymakers will be able to use the new electoral platform to reach voters through Google Hangouts and live streaming. Developers will compete in a 1App4democracy contest to improve democratic participation.

This new Italy Google Elections campaign was launched at a recent event in Rome. The event featured a debate about “Web and Democracy” between former Minister of Innovation Renato Brunetta, Italia Futura party parliamentarian Andrea Romano, and blogger and parliamentary candidate Giuseppe Civati.

In the coming month, we will work closely with politicians to allow them to discuss directly with voters. Parliament president Gianfranco Fini, Centre-Catholic party leader Pierferdinando Casini and liberal Prime Minister candidate Fare Oscar Giannino already have taken advantage Google tools such as hangouts.

This ambitious project is possible thanks to the participation of two important media partners: La7, the second largest private broadcaster, and La Stampa, a leading daily newspaper. We hope this project will help Italians make their choice for their next government.