Talk about adapting to new technology. In Virginia (United States), Microsoft's very own Surface RT tablet is being tested as a balloting device just in time for election day. The test, conducted by Democracy Live, is using Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud-platform to power a "LiveBallot" application run through Internet Explorer on the Surface RT.
According to the report, the web app allows the voter to use the Surface RT as a means to access, mark, and print a ballot for tabulation by a separate machine. This is a great idea considering that most balloting devices are old computers running Intel 486-era processors. "For now it’s just one Surface in one precinct in Charlottesville, Va. However, Democracy Live CEO Bryan Finney says the company plans to work with Microsoft on a broader rollout of Surfaces following the upcoming release Surface for Windows 8 Pro, which will run legacy Windows applications on traditional Intel processors," the report states. Windows 8 has built-in screen reading technology as well as USB support for input devices.
"The LiveBallot deployment on the Microsoft Surface tablet is an exciting pilot test and an opportunity for voters to experience the next generation of voting technologies firsthand. The Surface is not being used for actual voting in Charlottesville. We will continue with another round of testing when the Surface Windows 8 Pro is released and we can fully deploy our
LiveBallot technology. We look forward to continuing our work with Microsoft and deploying technologies that make voting more accessible for all Americans," the communications director for Democracy Live, George Munro, stated in an email statement.
Thanks George for the tip!