Microsoft Enables Online Voting For Overseas CitizensBy: Zach Walton - January 25, 2012
It was only a matter of time, but citizens in some states are getting the chance to vote via the Internet.
LiveBallot, based on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud computing system and developed by Democracy Live, allows voters who are overseas the chance to vote in a simple and easy way. The system has been in use since December for soldiers who are overseas, but will be used in the upcoming Florida primary.
This was accomplished with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act which allows voters to cast their ballots through a simple web portal. Since voting began, over 1,200 Florida residents from 40 countries have cast their vote using the software.
Virginia just implemented the technology for their citizens who are overseas on January 20. This will let them be ready for the state’s March 6 Presidential Primary Election.
Beginning in late April, the software will also be rolled out to 13 counties in California who will be able to vote in the state’s June primary.
Washington State will roll out the LiveBallot platform this year for their voters with disabilities.
“These elections are a huge step forward for voters living or serving our country overseas,” Bryan Finney, President of Democracy Live said. “LiveBallot allows us to deliver secure voter-specific ballots through the web to any eligible voter, anywhere in the world. By cutting the ballot’s transit time in half, LiveBallot ensures that voters are able to access, vote and return their ballot in time for it to be counted.”
Microsoft’s role in this is their Azure technology ensuring that ballots are transferred securely no matter where in the world the citizen is.
“With LiveBallot, government officials have options that they’ve never had before,” Kim Nelson, Executive Director of eGovernment for Microsoft said. “Because of its scalability, reliability and low cost, the Windows Azure cloud solution makes sense. Elections officials are among the first to realize the benefits of cloud computing for their unique seasonal situations.”