In a recent post, Kim Nelson, Microsoft US Public Sector executive director of eGovernment, talks about how technology is already playing a central role in elections and voting. She highlights one cloud solution, Campaign Live and writes:
The site contains a database of candidates, races, videos, photos, social media links and campaign features that allow a person to create four online or mobile applications in less than four minutes. Candidates (or issue managers) can build just one application or all four - for Facebook, MySpace, mobile and websites - for a fraction of the cost of hiring an expensive consultant And the site contains all of the analytics to understand the "who-what-where-when and how" so candidates can analyze the impact of their online and mobile campaigns.
Campaign Live was created by an innovative Southern California company called PopRule and leverages the power of Microsoft's cloud platform Windows Azure. Elections officials and political candidates have been among the first public leaders to realize the benefits of cloud computing for their unique seasonal situations, and Azure is especially well-suited for their needs due to the platform's scalability, reliability and low cost.
You can read the detail of the blog post here. To get started with developing Windows Azure cloud solutions, you can download Windows Azure SDK, and get a Windows Azure Free Trial Account.