Voters test Microsoft's Surface as ballot machine in US city

Voters test Microsoft's Surface as ballot machine in US city

Summary: Microsoft's new tablet is being trialled in a precinct of Charlottesville, Virginia, in Tuesday's state and national elections. The slate is being used to run a web app that Microsoft has been working on with a firm called Democracy Live.

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In an remarkable display of faith in just-launched technology, Microsoft's Surface tablet is being tested in a US city as a balloting device for Tuesday's elections.

Surface
Microsoft's Surface tablet is being used as a voting aid in a precinct of Charlottesville, Virginia during the US presidential election.

According to Geekwire, the tablet is being used in a precinct of Charlottesville, Virginia, to run an Azure-hosted web app called LiveBallot. The app comes from a firm called Democracy Live, and it lets users access, mark and print their ballots.

This is apparently a test ahead of a broader rollout, backed by Microsoft and Democracy Live, of Surfaces as voting machines. The wider deployment would involve x86-based Surface Pro machines, though, whereas the test is using a Surface RT.

The Surface RT tablet only came out less than two weeks ago. It has met with mixed reviews, with many saying Windows RT — the ARM-based version of Windows 8 that the tablet uses — is not quite fully baked yet.

The work between the two companies follows an act, passed in 2009, that was brought in to make sure US soldiers and overseas citizens could vote remotely from the countries in which they are. LiveBallot actually has federal funding for this purpose.

Topics: Microsoft, Government US, Mobility, Tablets, Windows

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Better qualification of your statement

    "The Surface RT tablet only came out less than two weeks ago. It has met with mixed reviews, with many [MS detractors] saying Windows RT — the ARM-based version of Windows 8 that the tablet uses — is not quite fully baked yet."

    Above is a better restatement of what you said.
    P. Douglas
  • Lol.

    Linux Geek: "M$ paid liberals are using M$ product to demolish the democracy. Corporate Google and FOSS will save the country from M$ paid liberals"
    DTS with others reputation from OSS at stake: "there so many products which are free, why cant you try it even if it is not working out for you."
    Ram U