November 11, 2011
Lori Steele, Chairman and CEO of Everyone Counts, Inc., and Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown were interviewed on MSNBC today by by Craig Melvin.
MSNBC featured the success of the use of iPads in Oregon as part of one of Everyone Counts’ voting solutions.
A transcript of the interview follows:
11/11/2011 11:52AM (CST)
Craig: Tuesday marked a new era in voting. In Oregon it was the first time that voters could use an iPad to select candidates. Joining me now to talk about it Lori Steele, C.E.O. of Everyone Counts, which helped implement that system, also Kate Brown, Oregon’s Secretary of State. Ladies, good afternoon to you.
Lori Steele: Good Afternoon, Craig.
Secretary Brown: Thank you so much for having us here today.
Craig: Kate, I understand this was a special primary election to fill Congressman David Wu’s seat. This wasn’t statewide by any means; it wasn’t even district wide, correct?
Secretary Brown: That’s correct.
Craig: You guys focus on a very select group of people for the trial run?
Secretary Brown: There were five counties involved in the first congressional district.
Craig: Five counties, and how did it go?
Secretary Brown: It went really well, it was very smooth. We had 89 voters in Oregon use the iPad to mark their ballots.
Craig: And no problems?
Secretary Brown: Absolutely no problems. The voters that used it thought it was wonderful, and they look forward to using it again in the special election in January.
Craig: Lori, what are the advantages? What are the advantages to having folks use iPads to vote?
Lori Steele: Well, the key advantage is that we’re talking about a software-based election platform versus an antiquated and very expensive hardware based platform. So, with a software based platform the end voter device is hardware agnostic, so voters can use what they are comfortable with be it an iPad, or a PC, or an Android platform. It gives choice to the voters and to the government.
Craig: I’ve never heard that phrase, “hardware agnostic”, that’s a new one. Kate, one of the fears that a lot of folks have expressed about electronic voting is the lack of a paper trail. How do you settle those fears that human error or even vote rigging won’t help steal an election?
Secretary Brown: Well the joy for us in using the iPads is that we actually had a paper trail. The voter would use the iPad to mark their ballot, and then the signal would be sent to the printer, the printer would send out a paper trail. I’m a firm believer in making sure that we have paper trails as well. I won my first race for the State House by a mere seven votes, so I want to make sure that Oregonians can watch a recount.
Craig: Lori, how long before more Americans are going to be seeing electronic devices used like this in elections, do you think? And considering the economy, is cost going to be an issue as well?
Lori Steele: Yes, actually, you’ll see many, many more voters using this platform immediately. We’re working currently in Colorado, in Washington, in Oregon, in countries throughout the world. And in some cases, voters are using a paper trail and the paper ballot is what is marked and in other cases, it’s fully electronic. And the cost for using a software-based platform is about half that of using the scanner-types or voting machines.
Craig: Alright, Kate Brown, Lori Steele. Ladies, thank you so much for your time.
Lori Steele: Thank you, Craig.