eSlate gets voters' approval
- By Matt Caterinicchia
- Jun 03, 2002
More than one-fifth of the voters in a Charlottesville, Va., city council
election last month cast their votes on an electronic system that was making
its debut in Virginia, and the majority liked the experience.
An exit survey was distributed among voters to gather feedback on eSlate,
the new electronic voting device, and 81 percent returned their surveys,
according to Sheri Iachetta, Charlottesville registrar. Iachetta said that
90 percent of respondents who used the new equipment were satisfied, but
the remaining 10 percent were not impressed with the electronic tool.
"Some people just don't like computers and electronics," Iachetta said,
adding that she was impressed with the technology, especially its accuracy.
"The machine will not allow an over vote, making it extremely accurate.
Not only was the machine accurate, it worked very quickly as well."
The eSlate device was developed by Hart InterCivic and is about the
size of a legal pad. After entering a code to get the correct ballot, voters
turn a wheel to select their choice on the screen. Audible signals, large
red and green buttons and headphones are available for those who have vision
or hearing impairments. Once a voter hits enter on a selection, the vote
is shown in bold on the screen. After entering all selections, voters may
review their selections before submitting them.
Certification of the eSlate device in Virginia could be near thanks
to the success rate achieved during the general election in Charlottesville.
"I truly believe that people are looking forward to getting rid of those
punch cards," Iachetta said.
States that have already instituted eSlate as a voting system include
Colorado, Maryland and Texas.