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"I think it will move from machines to vote by mail to Internet," Rawlings said. "It’s gotta be the thing of the future because of the ultimate cost savings and ease of voting."
In November 2011, Oregon first used iPads to allow people with disabilities to vote in their homes or extended-care facilities. Those ballots were then printed on portable wireless printers and either mailed or dropped off at election sites.
Thomas, Utah’s election director, predicts such trends will grow and that software will soon supersede hardware in importance.
"It wouldn’t matter what hardware you used. It could be your iPad or phone," Thomas said. "Having gone through the last 10 years and spent $28 million on machines, and then have it go obsolete … people start looking at software-based solutions where you don’t have warehouses full of equipment."
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