SALEM – Under the leadership of Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, Samsung has provided 10 tablet PC’s loaded with Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system to be used by Oregon voters with disabilities. Windows 8 provides many built in accessibility tools and features as well as USB plug-in capabilities for accessibility-enhancing devices that can simplify the process of marking a ballot for voters with disabilities. The Secretary of State’s office is piloting the software in conjunction with this election.
“Our relationship with Microsoft is another example of my strong commitment to increasing access to the ballot,” said Secretary of State Kate Brown. “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.”
Currently, all 36 Oregon counties have tablets available for voters with disabilities. Last fall Oregon became the first state in the nation to utilize tablet technology in elections. This latest pilot featuring the Samsung Series 7 PC tablets with Windows 8 will be used during the November General Election. Oregon’s Secretary of State and Microsoft Corp. will be working together providing technical support and feedback during this latest pilot.
“Oregon is a recognized leader in elections solutions. We are pleased to work with them in this first usage in the U.S. of a Windows 8-powered tablet for elections,” said Mark Wernet, Microsoft.
Oregon voters with disabilities interested in accessing tablet technology to mark their ballot should contact Don DeFord at Don.Deford@state.or.us or call 503-986-1518.