Republicans Are Voting Via iPads In Florida Primary

Republicans Are Voting Via iPads In Florida Primary

The iPad voting system from Everyone Counts.

Some voters in Florida’s Republican primary elections will be choosing the man they want in the White House with the touch of a finger using iPads.

Although Lori Steele, Chairman & CEO of Everyone Counts, the company behind the iPad voting scheme, was tight-lipped on details about how many of Apple’s magical tablets will be ticking boxes in today’s elections, she was quick to say that a similar program in Oregon led to an increase of voter participation by 1,500%.

One thing she’s certain of though: the iPads will ensure there’s no hanging chads or lost votes.

Cult of Mac asked her about the cost, security and software behind it. We’re planning to follow up on how the battle between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich played out over touchscreens.

CoM: What can you tell us about how it works?

Lori Steele: Our eLect Platform… enables a complete end-to-end election to be run online or for key elements in the election process to be conducted online, including ballot-delivery, ballot-marking and ballot return.

Whether an individual is voting using a computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or even a regular telephone, the eLect Platform secures the voting solution.

CoM: What does it cost to local government?

[It] will cut the cost of elections in half. Importantly, it enables government jurisdictions to move away from antiquated voting hardware equipment to newer and lower cost devices such as iPads, tablets and PCs. Additionally, such devices are available commercially-off-the-shelf and can be used for other purposes instead of the government having to pay for them to be stored away between elections. Because the Everyone Counts solutions are based on software-as-a-service, they are easily scalable to meet the precise volume needs of each election, rather than a one size fits all approach.

CoM: How is this safer/more secure than other computerized voting systems?

LS: In short, we have dozens of layers of security in our technology as well as our processes, including military-grade encryption technology and intensive oversight procedures. In the hundreds of binding government elections Everyone Counts has deployed, there has never been a security breach, not a single vote has been lost, and no election has ever been disputed or decertified. Also, our Software-as-a-Service technology and solution does not rely upon designated voting equipment and machines, and in fact runs on open-code programs which are fully transparent and auditable.

CoM: More details, please.

LS: In depth, our proven solution is secured by an impenetrable infrastructure (hardware, networks, and software) and protects the actual data (elector registration information, ballots cast, and results) from both intentional and unintentional interference.

Everyone Counts understands security as being about layer upon layer of protection, cumulatively increasing the safety of the election project, and accomplishes this by using military-grade security and industry-standard accredited facilities; ensuring that only security-cleared individuals have access to the infrastructure; deploying software that requires multiple levels of access to be able to see any encrypted data; and having a world-class team of election and technology experts providing election services.

We adhere to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) guidelines for encryption, threat modeling, physical server security and tamper-detection monitoring.

These measures enable us to identify suspicious activity and anticipate any potential threats. As an experienced provider of secure voting solutions, we have a demonstrated understanding of software, data security and management, accessibility, and elections management. In the dozens of binding government elections Everyone Counts has deployed, there has never been a security breach, not a single vote has been lost, and no election has ever been disputed or decertified.

  • Jonathan Ober

    So this year’s problem will be with iPads instead of chads?

  • Jerry

    Willing to bet that its deployed only in high income areas in order to drive 1% turnout.
    You wont see this in areas where it will encourage working class., student and minority turnout and accuracy.

  • ??nD ??os??A

    Anyone that says “impenetrable infrastructure” doesn’t know the first thing about IT security. This is just ripe for abuse. Any sort of online based voting, without a pen-on-paper trail should be illegal. What little chance Florida had for “free” elections has been removed. We can guarantee that hackers on both sides of the aisle will be working hard to break this system. 
    The fact that she says no election has been disputed is amusing. Everyone knows that good hackers become great hackers by covering their tracks. 
    Think about it…if someone can get a tethering app into the app store, how hard is it to get a vote-rigging app onto one in the form of a game, or some other “useful” app?

  • davester13

    That was 100% marketing-speak.  For example, how is the system secured from them tampering with the results?  Or anybody else that is permitted access to the system?

  • FriarNurgle

    Want to fix and election?
    There’s an App for that. 

  • Timothy Williamson

    /sarcasm ?

    If not…then all I have to say is wow…

  • Len Williams

    Conceptually, I think that using iPads and computers for voting is terrific due to the automation involved and the reduction of thousands of hours of work to count and verify votes. I am nervous about the potential for hackery that can result. You could also argue that paper votes can be manipulated as well, and this is true, however, with a paper trail it’s possible to do after the fact investigations. It’s much harder to do this, if not impossible with a good hacking job. In either case we have to maintain a belief that our elected officials and those responsible for tallying the votes are actually ethical and have not been compromised. Of course, if you believe in the illuminati and the reality of global conspiracies, it’s rather pointless to vote in the first place.

  • Bryan Black

    Still no way of Vote Verification!   See E-Voting without Fraud!  http://blog.ted.com/2010/11/02

  • JDWages

    You would do better to follow up on how the battle between Ron Paul vs. The Status Quo plays out, touchscreens or no.  (There are 4 contenders presently in the Republican primary, not 2.)

  • Mike Rathjen

    It’s an Apple blog.

  • JDWages

    You apparently did not even read the article, so I shall help you: 4th paragraph, 2nd sentence.  Therefore, if you seek to emphasize that this is “an Apple blog,” then you should direct that comment to the article author.  I was merely replying in kind.

  • blehtastic

    Hackers… Retirees… It’s kind of difficult to say who’s more harmful to America’s future.

  • Alex


     our proven solution is secured by an impenetrable infrastructure”

    Really ????

  • BlackBoxVoting

    “our proven solution is secured by an impenetrable infrastructure” – Since public elections must be authenticatable by the public, saying the infrastructure is “impenetrable” is saying the public has to cede all control over to whomever controls the server. And who is that? Well, it turns out, they hire their “superstar IT” people off of Craig’s List. Here’s their Craig’s List ad, and this is no kidding: http://sandiego.craigslist.org

  • martinrow

    Whether its a good idea or not really depends on teh student. a
    procrastinating dumbass student isnt gonna get any better by getting a
    laptop. 

  • UncaughtException

    Stop it. Face reality. It’s obvious he’s not getting elected.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Nearly the entire article is about the technology. Even the one sentence you refer to is about the battle ON TOUCHSCREENS.

    Your original post says to ignore the touchscreens and focus on the politics. There are plenty of other blogs for that.

  • JDWages

    Both you and your like-minded associate, “UncaughtException,” have utterly and completely missed the point.  I did not write this article, and yet despite this article having been posted on a “tech blog” and by an author who posts on tech blogs, the author chose to write that aforementioned sentence about “following up on the battle.”  You two gentlemen are taking me to task for that sentence which the author wrote, not because you gentlemen have valid points, but rather because you merely disagree with what I said and because you have nothing better to say against it.  And because you have nothing intelligent to say, you are now resorting to silly tactics like “it’s only a single sentence in a big article on touchscreens” or “so-and-so is not getting elected.”  Those two arguments in no way invalidate that one sentence in the article which I have singled-out and commented upon.

    It is irrelevant that this is a tech blog and the thrust of the article is on tech, insofar as each and every sentence of the article is an integral part of the article and should be legitimate reason to garner comments.  Furthermore, that one sentence in the article mentions a future article about “politics,” which if true would mean that the author herself would be emphasizing politics, not me.

    I stand firmly behind my preceding comments.

About the author

Nicole MartinelliNicole Martinelli heads up Cult of Mac Magazine, our weekly publication available on iTunes. You can find her on Twitter and Google+. If you're doing something new, cool and Apple-related, email her.

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