Oregon testing Windows 8 Tablets for voters with disabilities

Last fall, Oregon became the first state in the nation to utilize tablet technology in elections. Now in the state’s latest technology move, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown has arranged to provide Samsung Series 7 PC tablets, featuring the Windows 8 operating system, to be used by Oregon voters with disabilities in Tuesday’s general election.windows 8

“Specifically, in this pilot project, Oregon voters with disabilities will be encouraged to test their own accessibility devices with the brand-new technology that should increase the use and confidence in our accessible voting system,” saidSecretary Brown.

While all 36 Oregon counties now have tablets available for voters with disabilities, “This is the first usage in the U.S. of a Windows 8-powered tablet for elections,” said Mark Wernet, account manager for state and local government at Microsoft. “Oregon is a recognized leader in elections solutions,” he added.

Tablets running Windows 8 offer a variety of built in accessibility tools and features, according to Microsoft officials, including USB plug-in capabilities for accessibility-enhancing devices that can make it easier for voters with disabilities to mark a ballot.

Voters with disabilities interested in accessing tablet technology may contact Oregon’s Don Deford, at Don.Deford@state.or.us or call 503-986-1518.

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