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Voting goes online

Thursday, 24th February, 2011

INDEPENDENT: Adrian Eckert will no longer need someone to help him cast his vote thanks to the new iVote system. INDEPENDENT: Adrian Eckert will no longer need someone to help him cast his vote thanks to the new iVote system.

Hopefully one day we'll all do it over the internet

By Caitlin Keenan

Local man Adrian Eckert will finally be able to cast a vote on his own after more than 20 years.

The new voting system "iVote" has made it possible for Mr Eckert, who is blind, to cast his vote without help.

iVote enables people who are blind, have low vision or other disabilities, or who are illiterate to cast their vote on the internet or by telephone.

It is also open to those who can't make it to a polling booth because of the distance.

Mr Eckert said he thought it was a great idea.

"Normally you get a postal vote and get your partner or someone to help you," he said.

"This gives you a lot more privacy."

Mr Eckert is president of the Broken Hill Blind and Vision Impaired Association and he said that while he was tech savvy enough to use the new system, he wasn't sure everyone was.

"You might have five that have the computer skills," he said.

"Most vision impaired people are senior citizens who don't use computers."

Mr Eckert said he thought the new system would be more efficient and provide more independence.

"Hopefully in the future we'll all do it over the internet," he said.

"This is a trial but it might go on to federal elections."

"Hopefully they can improve it with feedback," he said.

To find out if you qualify and for more information visit www.votensw.info or call 1300 135 736.

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