Oregon Is First State to Vote by iPad

The technology helps people with disabilities cast their ballots easily and more privately.

It can be difficult for someone to keep their vote a secret if he or she needs help casting it. This week, Oregon offered people with disabilities a way to easily and privately cast their votes: on an iPad. Oregon is the first state to use iPads in the voting process, reports Politico and the Associated Press, and likely won't be the last. Election workers in five counties lugged five iPads on loan from Apple Inc. to community centers, nursing homes and other places with people who typically have trouble filling out traditional paper ballots. The tablets could provide voters assistance in ways that traditional voting can't. For example: People who can't see well were able to alter the size and color of fonts or even have the iPad read back what they marked before printing their ballot and dropping it in the mail. (Oregon was also the first state to have all residents vote by mail). State election officials told Politico that people from all over the country have been asking about the pilot program and how to set it up. To expand the program statewide, the state would need 72 iPads -- two per county -- at a total cost of $36,000, according to the AP. 

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.