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October 24, 2012

No More Missed Opportunities to Vote, Says Mobile Commons

By Mini Swamy, TMCnet Contributor


With election fever going viral, voters across the United States will be seeking to cast their votes in yet another show of public power that either makes or breaks the presidential candidates. However, the voting process always brings along with it confusion about the location of polling booths. And, this year promises to be even more chaotic as thousands of voters grappling with the added confusion of redistricting.


But help is round the corner with mobile software and strategy company, Mobile Commons, collaborating with the Voting Information Project, (VIP), New Organizing Institute, and Voto Latino to launch the Mobile Commons Polling Place Locator, noted company officials.

The polling place locator will leverage text messaging to help get millions of Americans to the voting booth this year by supplying them with information they need to find their polling location and cast a ballot, while VIP works with election officials across the nation to ensure this information is official and reliable.

Voters simply need to text in their home address and the Mobile Commons software automatically texts the address and hours of their polling place.

Text messaging is being resorted to as it is used by “everyone, regardless of income, race or political party,” noted Jed Alpert, co-founder and CEO of Mobile Commons.

This is amply borne out by a Princeton University study that indicates text messaging to be one of the most powerful tools available to get out the voter, with a text reminder increasing a person’s likelihood to vote by four to five percent.

“This tool uses VIP data in an innovative way to meet voters where they’re at, with the information they need to find their polling location and cast a ballot," noted Tiana Epps-Johnson, election administration director at the New Organizing Institute and project manager at VIP.

Epps-Johnson certainly doesn't want a repeat of 2008, in which almost 1.9 million registered voters didn't cast a ballot just because they couldn't locate their polling place.

Mobile Commons is making its Mobile Polling Place Locator available to organizations across the country in both English and Spanish.

 "SMS and mobile applications are key parts of our GOTV strategy to mobilize the tens of thousands of young Latinos that are registered and voting for the first time in 2012," noted Maria Teresa Kumar, president at Voto Latino.

With the Mobile Place Locator in place, will the hassle and confusion surrounding polling be eliminated? November 4th should tell you.




Edited by Brooke Neuman


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