May 10, 2012 By Noelle Knell
Voters in Louisiana have a new tool to help prepare them for the next election, and it came in handy in the state’s March primary.
Released in September on the iOS and Android operating systems, the mobile app is part of a broader ‘Geaux Vote’ effort, originally launched in 2007 by then-Secretary of State Jay Dardenne. Geaux Vote is a comprehensive online voter portal featuring voter information, election results, candidate resources and more. A mobile version of the website is also available with information optimized for smaller screens like tablets and smartphones.
Geaux, pronounced “go”, is a familiar rallying cry for Louisiana teams and other home-grown promotional efforts, paying homage to the area’s Cajun heritage.
Users of the mobile app can find out whether they are registered, an address and map of their polling place and the contents of their ballot. Voters also can enter their name or address to access personalized data.
“The app is designed to provide a voter with everything they need to know about registration, candidates, ballots and elections,” said Sailor Jackson Jr., Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s communications director.
Jackson explained that the Geaux Vote app was a particularly useful tool in the March 24 Louisiana primary election because recent redistricting brought significant changes throughout the state. Even election commissioners and candidates relied on the app to determine proper voting locations.
Jackson reports that between two of the major mobile platforms — iOS and Android — the app has been downloaded more than 10,000 times to date.
The Secretary of State’s office has another mobile app in development to help improve voting access for military and overseas voters. The app will allow voters to register online and receive their absentee ballot electronically. These overseas voters will also be able to mark their ballots online, and then return their ballots in the mail.
Schedler’s office is also planning to add subscription-based email notifications to voters, pertaining to Louisiana elections. Aimed at keeping voters engaged in the political process, officials are hopeful that email notifications will launch in advance of the November 2012 presidential election.
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