Voters in Virginia will take to the polls on Microsoft Surface

6 Nov 2012

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Microsoft’s new Surface tablet has won itself a starring role in the 2012 US presidential election as the device is being used for e-voting by a precinct in Virginia.

A single Surface computer is available for voters in Charlottesville, Virginia, running a Windows Azure cloud-based web app called LiveBallot which allows them to access, mark and print their ballots. These ballots will then be tabulated by a separate machine.

The app has been developed by Washington-based Democracy Live, which is testing the Surface voting system on a Windows RT device in the hopes of eventually rolling it out to a wider base on Windows 8 Pro machines.

The other balloting computers available to Charlottesville voters are older machines, so the Surface is in high demand, GeekWire reports.

Among the advantages of using Surface for this purpose are Narrator, which reads content on-screen for users that are visually impaired, and USB ports, which enable the use of sip-and-puff input devices for people with disabilities.

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Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com