The Franklin County Board of Elections today (May 8) announced that it has shared its award-winning computer application with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.

The Iowa effort to improve voter accessibility with the help of the Franklin County app has been recognized as a finalist for the 2017 Ideas Award by the National Association of Secretaries of State, according to a news release from the Franklin County Board of Elections.

The Franklin County application was such a success that it was nominated and won the Election Center 2015 Professional Practices Independence Award-Voting Accessibility Innovation, the release said. The software app will ensure that polling places comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. All of Iowa’s 99 counties will use the ADA checklist program app on computer tablets to guarantee voter accessibility, the release said.

“We are quite proud of the work that our team here at the board of elections has done to develop and share this software tool that is designed to improve the accessibility of our voting locations to those with physical disabilities,” Ed Leonard, BOE director, said in the release.

Election officials can use the app to determine if polling places have required accessibility features to be compliant with the ADA, the release said. The app provides a checklist that officials can navigate through to survey the polling places. The checklist focuses on the accessibility of polling places, parking, entrances and voting areas. Photos can be uploaded onto the tablet that will document how signs and others ADA-compliant steps are used to enhance the voting location’s accessibility. Precinct officials are then provided photos from the app, showing them how to step up their voting location on Election Day to ensure ADA compliance.

For more information on Iowa’s rollout of the app, go to https://sos.iowa.gov/news/2017_04_4.html.