Oregon is letting citizens in five different counties place their votes via iPad. The move is an attempt to help those who might have difficulty filling out traditional paper ballots still participate in the voting process.
Election workers are taking to the streets with the iPads, dropping in at nursing homes, parks, and community centers to find voters. Oregon is one of the first states to allow voting by mail. iPad voting is simply an extension of that, and allows voters to select a candidate from the screen which is then printed out and mailed in. Those who have trouble with their hands can use a special “sip-and-puff” device to fill out ballots.
The service has been available since last year, with 800 voters taking advantage in 2010. Apple donated five iPads to the state’s initial efforts. It will reportedly need 72 to implement the program statewide.
What do you think about using iPads as virtual ballots? Can you think of any other ways technology could make voting easier for the disabled?