Oregonians voting by iPad today
It's the first Election Day to be held under a new program aimed at helping voters who require extra assistance. Election officials equipped with iPads are going out to disabled voters in nursing homes and other assisted care facilities.
Using the iPad, disabled voters can call up the right ballot and tap the screen to pick a candidate, with or without the help of election workers. The voters then print the completed ballot and stuff it in an envelope to sign, take with them and drop in the mail or an official ballot box.
Voters with poor vision can adjust the font size and screen colors, or they can have the iPad read them the candidates' names and even the voter pamphlet. A voter with limited mobility could attach a "sip-and-puff" device to control the screen. Lewis Crews, 75, who has severe arthritis, didn't have to hold a pen to fill out his ballot.
The program is currently being tried in five counties and Apple donated some iPads to help out. The state developed the software in house. If it works well, the program could be expanded in time for a special election in January. A similar program has been tried with laptops in the past but this is seen as being easier for everybody to operate.