The Main Stream

Oct 9, 2012 12:09 PM by Faye DeHoff

Find your polling place on your smartphone with a quick scan

TUCSON - Voters with smartphones will soon find it easier to locate their polling places for the Nov. 6th election and identify which political districts they live in.

When general election sample ballots arrive in mailboxes Oct. 15th, voters will be able to scan a QR (quick-read) code near the address bar, which will take them instantly to the Pima County
Election Department's website. There, they can type in their address and find out where they physically can cast a ballot and whether they are eligible to cast ballots on races
within congressional district 1, 2 or 3. They can also get detailed travel instructions from their residence to their polling place.

Quick-read codes are rapidly finding their way into the political landscape, from direct mail pieces to yard signs, with Nielsen Reports recently estimating that a majority of
U.S. mobile phone users own smartphones.

Pima County Elections Director Brad Nelson said the technology will be particularly helpful post-redistricting, since voters are getting used to new boundaries for political
jurisdictions from supervisor races to legislative and congressional races.

Additionally, with more and more voters moving to early voting, many polling places changed after the County reduced voting locations by 31 percent, from 417 to 288.
Results from the primary election show more consolidation may be in order. Only 19 percent of votes in the Aug. 28th primary election were cast at a polling place. Roughly 60
precincts had 50 or fewer votes cast. Looking at the whole pool of registered voters, only 4 percent of primary election voters physically cast a ballot at a precinct.

"This technology will be an important and versatile tool to serve voters by making sure key information is just a scan away," Nelson said.

For more information about where to vote, please call (520) 724-4330.

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