Some Oregon voters to cast ballots via iPad

Wired magazine reports that America’s voting system has taken a big technological step. For the first time, some U.S. voters will be using iPads to help cast ballots on Tuesday.

Apple iPads will initially be used in five counties in Oregon, with plans to expand if the program is successful. The initiative’s aim is to simplify the voting process, especially for elderly and disabled voters for whom traditional voting methods are problematic..

“It’s a lot simpler for me” Lewis Crews, a 75-year-old who suffers from severe arthritis, told the Associated Press. “I think it’s a great setup they got.”

Voting officials will bring iPads and portable printers to various locations, where those who would otherwise have problems voting will be able to pick their candidates digitally and then print the results. Officials emphasize that voting is not actually taking place on the iPad; rather, the tablet computers are used to fill out printed paper ballots.

If the program expands statewide, Oregon will need to spend $36,000 on iPads and $75,000 on software development. Supporters argue that iPad voting will be a cost-effective solution over time.

Last year, the state spent $325,000 to make voting more accessible.

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