Nursing home residents use iPad to vote in House primary election

Share this content:

Nursing home residents in five Oregon counties voted in a Congressional special primary election Tuesday via iPad tablet notebooks, thanks to a small pilot program.

Oregon election officials took hugely popular iPads (as well as portable printers) into nursing homes and community and senior centers. It was an effort to enable the state's elderly and disabled population to vote in an election to replace U.S. Rep. David Wu (D), the Associated Press reported. Rep. Wu resigned as the result of a sex scandal in August.

Apple's iPad lets users with impaired vision increase a ballot's font size and adjust the screen color to enhance readability.  Voters also could have the tablet device read each candidate's name — as well as an informational pamphlet — aloud to them. Users with mobility difficulties could use an attached “sip-and-puff” device to control the iPad's touch screen, according to the AP. Election workers were able to print out the ballots and mail them or put them in official ballot boxes.

Apple donated five iPads to the Oregon program and the state contributed $75,000 to develop the software. To make the program available statewide, each county would need two iPads, or 72 total, according to the news service.