Written by Matthew Ern Saturday, 19 October 2013 00:00
Mineola-based company hones in on mobile tallying
It’s been depicted in movies and on TV, but dismissed. The concept seems progressive, but is open for discussion. Would you put your say on an important matter in the hands of your mobile device? One Mineola-based company has seen success on a small scale in the private sector, but is dreaming bigger.
VotRite, a company that specializes in electronic and mobile voting, offers digital alternatives to standard voting machines and has hosted elections for organizations across the country.
The company has been around for lots of years. It isn’t endorsed by municipalities, but is instead utilized by private organizations such as charities or condo boards to host internal elections.
VotRite has been used locally by Long Island University, Queens Community College, and the Fraternal Order of Police. Its system allows for both mobile voting by visiting their website from a computer, smartphone or tablet as well as voting at a fixed location on one of their touch screen machines. The machines access the website through encrypted cloud servers.
Security is a huge concern for VotRite and company manager Jim Kapsis says they take every effort to protect votes. “We update servers constantly. We maintain software on a daily basis. It’s just a matter of spending the time and money to keep things safe.”
When trying to vote on the website, you’ll first be prompted to enter a pin number for the election you’re trying to access. An ID number is used when voting at a machine as well and ensures that everyone can only vote once.
Once the pin is entered, candidate names appear along with their pictures. Before you finish up there’s a final screen allowing you to review and change your selections before submitting them.
The computers can double check the number of votes cast against a list of registered voters for a given election to make sure no extra ballots have been cast. At the end of an election, the results are printed within 5-7 seconds. And an automated cu-toff ensures no votes are cast after the specified end time.
The machines can display ballots in numerous fonts and sizes. The ballots are customizable as well and only take minutes to produce, in any language.
Response to the machines has been largely positive. Elderly users, according to Kapsis, “have reported that the larger fonts make voting easier, and younger generations can intuitively navigate the touch screen interface.”
Voter transparency and security are key for VotRite. “People want transparency, they want to know that their vote counted,” Kapsis explains. He believes it’s only a matter of time before digital voting becomes the standard.
The next step for VotRite, according to Kapsis, is installing their machines in retail chains across the country. “If you can’t get to your polling place and have no Internet access, you could go to one of their machines at a store or pharmacy.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New to Electronic Voting
MINEOLA, N.Y.. – Eight years ago, the Election Assistance Commission was founded, and the Help American Vote Act created, to in-flux $3.9 Billion in grant monies to be proportionately distributed to the States to up-grade their outdated voting equipment. This came at one of those proverbial crossroads in life for Votrite founder and Managing Partner, James L. Kapsis.
Kapsis, armed with statistics on growing discontentment for the existing voting equipment, and articles on the explosive growth and potential of new electronic equipment, started the VotRite rental division of PDSH Ltd..
His goal for product development was two fold; build the most secure voting machine and make it reach every type of voter. His vision and strategic focus became, and remains, “Voting with Technology”.
Initially, Kapsis would handle all the marketing, accounting and development of the project from his home- based office, while the engineering and software were outsourced. This allowed James to maximize his time and dedicate his attention to the systems integration and intricate specifications requirements.
With the establishment of the VotRite division the company’s target market segments pioneered to include only private sector users, but is available to municipalities as well.
Confidence in the VotRite products is apparent from the company website which is filled with detailed information on the world of electronic voting, including a section on history and research links. The fast loading site makes the obscure and niche industry accessible to even the unfamiliar public. With the controversy and uncertainty that currently surrounds governmental electronic voting; Kapsis’ transparent approach to the market is a breath of fresh air and a sigh of relief.
VotRite provides both computer products and services which give all voters and their representatives the certainty and convenience everyone deserves. “The distrust in electronic voting stops with us” Kapsis stated “We are especially focused on providing user friendly and user driven systems with the highest level of security to back them up”. Security specifics include a PC-based system and three tier redundant memory-based system, paper trails, and the ultimate in over voting prevention, while their services include ballot design, training, nationwide software and hardware support.
‘Voters have taken the ballot for granted in private and public sectors for far too long now’, Kapsis mentions, ‘The use of paper ballots dates all the way back to Rome in 139 B.C.! The method has undergone a lot of changes over the centuries, and it is currently in need of another major upgrade. Voting is moving into the electronic age much like banking and most of our technology growth.’
You can check out VotRite at https://www.votrite.com/ or call for their free brochure and PowerPoint presentation at 1-516.414.1874. Also visit https://www.votrite.com/ for more information on the services offered for private organization elections.
Interview Contact: James L. Kapsis,
219 Mineola Blvd, Mineola, N.Y.11501 USA
Fax 1.516.294.6999 or 1.516.625.0675
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fraternal Order of Police Selects VotRite for their Executive Board Elections
Mineola New York…………. October 21, 2010
VotRite has been selected by the New York State Fraternal Order of Police for the Executive Board Elections to be conducted on November 3rd, 2010 starting at 9:00 AM and ending at 4:00 PM at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center of New York, located at 655 West 34th Street New York, NY 10001http://www.javitscenter.com/.
VotRite is a provider of Electronic Voting equipment to the private sector and is especially focused on providing user friendly and user driven systems with services and security to voters in every environment. VotRite provides both Electronic Voting machines and services to every voter and their representatives. The systems include a Touch Screen, PC-based system and three tier redundant memory-based systems.
The services include ballot design, training, software and hardware support, and a voter instruction video.Visit our website: https://www.votrite.com/ for additional information.