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Microsoft Surface tested as balloting device in Virginia
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Microsoft Surface tested as balloting device in Virginia

Microsoft Surface tested as balloting device in VirginiaRight here’s an attention-grabbing milestone for Microsoft Surface: One of many tablets is being tested in Virginia this week as a balloting device for state and nationwide elections there.

The take a look at is being performed by Democracy Live, an organization based mostly in Issaquah, Wash., that works with Virginia and different states to ship digital ballots and voter data. Democracy Dwell makes use of Microsoft’s Home windows Azure cloud-based platform, and the Surface is working the corporate’s “LiveBallot” utility by the browser.

The online app lets the voter use the Surface to entry, mark, and print a poll for tabulation by a separate machine.

For now it’s only one Surface in one precinct in Charlottesville, Va. Nonetheless, Democracy Dwell CEO Bryan Finney says the corporate plans to work with Microsoft on a broader rollout of Surfaces following the upcoming launch Surface for Home windows 8 Professional, which is able to run legacy Home windows purposes on conventional Intel processors. (The present Surface for Home windows RT runs on an ARM processor, so it doesn’t help legacy apps.)

The thought with the Virginia take a look at is to get suggestions in advance of that broader rollout. Many balloting computer systems are older machines working Intel 486-era processors, so the Surface has been in excessive demand in the precinct up to now, Finney says.

Benefits embrace Home windows 8’s built-in screen-reading performance, plus USB help to allow sip-and-puff enter units for individuals with disabilities.

Replace, Tuesday: Simply to make clear, the important thing phrase right here is that the Surface is being tested as a balloting device. It should nonetheless have to undergo approvals for precise voting. Right here’s a follow-up assertion from Democracy Dwell …

“The LiveBallot deployment on the Microsoft Surface pill is an thrilling pilot take a look at and a chance for voters to expertise the following technology of voting applied sciences firsthand. The Surface will not be getting used for precise voting in Charlottesville. We are going to proceed with one other spherical of testing when the Surface Home windows 8 Professional is launched and we are able to totally deploy our LiveBallot expertise. We sit up for persevering with our work with Microsoft and deploying applied sciences that make voting extra accessible for all Individuals.”

Observe us on Twitter @GeekWire.

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