New Remote Voting Solution is Largest Implementation in History for Voters with Disabilities

Remote electronic voting system built by Everyone Counts on the secure eLect® Platform provided online and telephone voting for eligible voters in the New South Wales (NSW) March 2011 State Election. Remote solutions termed “iVote” by NSW. Voting in Australia is mandated by law.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Arguably the world’s most far reaching and advanced remote voting solution ever to be offered for a government election and certainly for voters with disabilities, the iVote system, created by Everyone Counts in partnership with the New South Wales Election Commission, was built to enfranchise voters with disabilities and illiteracy. Upon evaluation of the solution being offered, legislation was subsequently passed to extend use of iVote to voters either temporarily or permanently residing 20km (12.5mi) or more from a polling station on Election Day.

With demonstrated success of the Everyone Counts online and telephone voting solutions, governments around the world will have a strong case for implementing remote electronic solutions for their voters. Representing the most severely disenfranchised of voters, those with disabilities and living remote receive the greatest benefit offered with remote electronic voting, and are therefore likely to be the first group of voters to receive the benefits of using Everyone Counts voting solutions.

This is the largest implementation of secure technology for remotely serving voters with disabilities in history. NSWEC originally estimated that anywhere between 5,000 and 15,000 voters would use iVote, powered by eLect®, to record their votes in the March State Election; however, as eligibility increased so did voter turnout, resulting in 46,864 votes cast. Everyone Counts projects that iVote will eventually reach between 100,000 and 800,000 NSW voters in the future. In addition to increased privacy and accessibility, implementation of remote voting is certain to have reduced various logistical burdens for some NSW voters; particularly as voting in Australia is mandated by law. Voters want options that are more suitable to today’s mobile lifestyle.

It is estimated that approximately 18% of New South Wales residents have a long-term disability that restricts their everyday activities. Voting by computer or telephone prevents the need to travel and allows for use of assistive technologies such as screen readers, input devices such as joysticks or sip-and-puff, Braille displays or other assistive devices. This election may be the first that some NSW voters will be able to vote without the aid of another person.

“Everyone Counts has a clear and unwavering commitment to ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to cast a vote regardless of challenges or obstacles,” said Chief Executive Officer Lori Steele. “As the world’s most experienced providers of secure remote voting solutions, we are excited to have worked with the NSWEC to guarantee that voters could cast their unique local ballots securely, independently and secretly - some for the first time ever. Every person who participated in the election can be confident that his or her vote was properly executed and counted.”

From the 15th to the 25th of March, eligible NSW voters were able to cast their ballots using an internet connection or touch-tone telephone.

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Trusted by election officials worldwide, Everyone Counts uniquely combines election and technology expertise to deliver the most reliable, transparent and secure election solutions for all voters. Established in 1996 and headquartered in California with offices in London and Melbourne, our team of experts has delivered thousands of secure elections to voters in over 160 countries using the secure eLect® Platform.