Schedler speaks on voting process, new tech _lowres

Advocate staff photo by STACY GILL -- Secretary of State Tom Schedler speaks to Zachary Rotarians Jan. 28 about technology meant to streamline the voting process and increase voter turnout among younger demographics.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler visited Zachary Jan. 28 as the guest speaker of the Rotary Club.

A native of New Orleans and resident of Mandeville, Schedler was first appointed to the position in 2010 after serving as first assistant for three years. He was then elected to serve a four-year term as secretary of state in 2011.

In 2012, he helped launched geauxvote.com in an effort to improve voter registration and participation through technology.

“Though I don’t see voting online happening anytime soon, the technology is definitely there, but the security is lacking,” Schedler said.

Louisiana, which has the third-highest voter registration in the nation with 84 percent of eligible voters registered, was the first state to use the “geauxvote” technology. Soon, he said, eight states will follow suit.

In 2013, Schedler accepted the 2013 NASS IDEAS Award for the nationally recognized GeauxVote mobile app for smartphones, which allows residents to check voter registration status, review individualized ballots and locate voting precincts using a cellphone.

Though Louisiana is moving up in statistics on eligible voters, it is still one of the lowest-ranked states in voter participation among 18-- to 24-year-olds, he said.

To help combat the issue, Schedler revealed new technology on the horizon that will help streamline the voting process, making it easier for any age group to cast their votes.

“In the next several years, you will be voting using something similar to an iPad. Residents will still be voting by precincts but using more of a touchscreen method,” Schedler said. “This technology will allow us to vote from anywhere in the state and not just from our designated precincts. Students, for example, will be able to vote from student unions on campus.”

Many benefits will come from utilizing the new system, which Schedler called a “dramatic change in the voting process.”

Louisiana residents are encouraged to check out the Secretary of State website at sos.la.gov, which offers information about how to start a business, databases on business filings, historical records, archives, elections and voting.