The State Government has approved the use of VoteAssist, a computer-based application developed by the Western Australian Electoral Commission for its 2013 state election. The software uses specially designed computer terminals, headphones and a numeric keypad to provide audio prompts to guide the elector through the voting process. The Government passed legislation last year to introduce electronically assisted voting technology. The legislation was prompted by recommendations made by the Electoral Commission following the 2010 and 2014 state elections, calling for a trial of alternative voting for some electors.
“VoteAssist was selected as it provides a secure, safe and independent method of voting that does not store votes electronically or remotely,” the Electoral Commissioner said.
People with a vision impairment are not obliged to use VoteAssist, and the Electoral Commission is still encouraging postal voting as an alternative.
The commission is also encouraging voters with a vision impairment to book a session to cast their vote at a VoteAssist polling booth. Bookings will be available on the Royal Society of the Blind website from Monday