It’s Election Day. You leave work and head to the place where you’ve voted for years. Excited you notice, no line. You walk to the door. No one is there asking for your vote and the door is locked! You recall receiving a piece of mail about voting a few weeks back. If only there was an app that would tell you where to go. Because, if you go home to find the mail, you’ll never make it back out to vote.
Lucky for you and 68% of Americans with a smartphone, business partners, Jose Antonio (Tony) De La Luz and Aaron Rosenfield created the savvy, informative and easy to use app, AtMyVote.
This app provides all the information you need. Where to vote. How to register and deadlines. Even the date of your local and state elections. All you have to do is, like thousands have done, download the free app!
“I love the AtMyVote app. It is easy for anyone to navigate, and its savvy and informative!” Clevette Tucker an IT specialist in Richmond, Virginia shared. “I sent texts informing my cousin and friends the night I downloaded it. The next morning they responded all in agreement. I even shared it with a radio DJ friend of mine. Maybe he will share it on the air!”
@lefty_lucie-tweeted, “if you need docs to help you vote….these are the folks to contact….@atmyvote
Judy8519 – “this app is exactly what our generation needs to obtain quick, relevant, useful and helpful information about this years election. This app is absolutely awesome.”
Based in Los Angeles, California, Tony and Aaron’s company, App Trak produces high quality technologies that allow users greater access in the elections. I spoke to them last week after Aaron shared the app with me. Their excitement about the possibilities is contagious and I wondered as we talked, will it help millennials vote?
“We believe it will, because it is an app. Millennials like apps. And our users are sharing that they believe it is a fun, easy and most of all, quick way to get information. Now people who procrastinate about voting, know where to go!” Aaron stated that there also is a demand for it. “Once we released it, our Twitter following jumped ten percent, and Instagram overnight went from twenty to two hundred.”
But why did it take so long for a company to produce something like this?
“It is difficult to integrate fifty different states to do fifty different things in one app.” Tony, App-Trak’s technology expert said. A Mexican-American who moved to the US with his family as a child, calmly explained. After a pause he added introspectively, “this adds substance to the app world and there is more to come. If we get over the politics and address security issues, maybe one day we will vote from our phone. But right now, we want to get people using the app. Then we can unlock more possibilities!”
As voting battles heat up, this first of its kind nationwide app arrives in time to help register voters and find their polling locations at a time when forty-five bills could threaten voter access. Some election experts urge caution on technology in voting, citing security, transparency and reliability. And voter rights groups are criticizing Voter ID laws believed to curb low income citizens who often support Democratic candidates.
AtMyVote arrives in time to add value to the discussion about technology’s role in elections. And user demand can help answer the question, “should voting be made easier or harder?” One can look back to 2000 and the Florida issue of paper ballots and hanging chads to see how voter disenfranchisement impacted a national election.
Aaron knows the frustration of long lines. After the 2000 Elections he was in Florida. “A large number of voters were disenfranchised. Voter’s ballots thrown out, and names purged from voter lists.” Instead of complaining, he worked with professors at Florida State University to register more voters and educate them of their voting rights. This set him on course to move back to California where he met Tony while they both worked for a labor union. And AtMyVote was born.
“We can educate people about voting, but people don’t have the time or attention span to focus long on issues. MyVote gives people easy access to information. Soon, people using our app, will be able to see how others voted and the percentages each candidate received. Even see results of the issues they voted on.”
“Looking at Obama’s first term and how difficult it was for people to register and cast a ballot,” Tony emphasized, “we saw the need for an app to help people with smart devices in a way that wasn’t available ten years ago.”
We don’t know what challenges people will have voting in 2016. We do know the AtMyVote app will make it easier for voters by putting information in the palm of their hands. And its easy to use, informative and, Savvy!
Download MyVote on your Android or Apple phone, and for more information about MyVote, visit app-trak.com. And follow on Twitter @atmyvote
About the founders:
Aaron Rosenfield is a native Californian with a lifelong passion for helping to build community and make the world a better place. In 2004, Aaron cofounded a voter rights organization called Standup! Florida. He has a Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and currently advocates on behalf of health care and research employees who work at the University of California.
Jose Antonio (Tony) De La Luz was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and came to California in 1988, at the age of fourteen, where he went to school and now works. In 2004, he worked as an IT Manager for the Teachers Association of Long Beach (TALB), where he participated as a union member advocate and provided technical support. With 15 years in the technology field, today he works for Air-Sea Forwarders, Inc. as a senior programmer and co-founded two technology companies, GDLIT and AppTrak. Follow on Twitter @TonyDeLaLuz
About the author:
Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR), founder of Party Politics US and Associate Producer on The Framing of OJ Simpson. Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Atiba Madyun on Facebook.