GeauxVote gets award

Louisiana’s Secretary of State’s Office has won a top national award for its “Geaux Vote Mobile” application and website that helps people navigate elections.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler picked up the IDEAS award that recognizes innovation and achievement at the National Association of Secretaries of State annual summer conference in Anchorage, Alaska, last weekend.

The tools assist people in confirming their voter-registration information, finding their polling place, accessing sample ballot information and finding their voting district.

Schedler was elected the group’s secretary and will serve on its executive committee.

“I’m very proud of it,” Schedler said. “It’s a super deal. The whole purpose of the group is to share information ... whether on the elections sided or commercial filings.”

The Louisiana submission topped two other finalists for the award, he said.

Schedler said his office continues to work on improvements.

“We just added in the last three weeks the ability to get the results on election night on your phone,” Schedler said.

Schedler said his office is encouraging voters to take part in another service that will remind people via telephone alert of an upcoming election. People would voluntarily provide their phone number and election alerts would be sent via text, he said.

“We want to encourage people to provide their number so we can at least text them like Entergy when there’s a power outage or like on school campuses when you have an alert,” Schedler said.

The “Geaux Vote Mobile” application was developed by the Secretary of State’s Office in partnership with Louisiana-based GCR Inc. Launched in 2011, the app is free and available online at the Apple and Android app stores.

Since 2011, there have been approximately 31,000 downloads — 24,000 from Apple and 7,000 from Android — and that number grows daily.

Schedler said the mobile app has helped increase voter registration, reduce long lines at the polls, get voters to the right precinct on Election Day and provide real-time election results.

For the 2012 presidential election, the app had more than 30,000 unique visits, meaning 30,000 Louisiana voters were assisted, sometimes multiple times, throughout the day.

At the close of the presidential election, more than 1.9 million hits had been detected. As a result, Louisiana was one of only two states to improve turnout in the presidential election from 2008 to 2012 with 67.9 percent of registered voters casting a ballot.