Technology is a powerful tool that empowers voters and dramatically improves the democratic process. It gives voters access to information to make informed decisions and helps ensure election results are reported accurately, efficiently and securely.
In recent weeks, we have been asked about our plans for the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Since we began working with convention committees in 2000, the company has based our actions on three principles. First, we act in a bipartisan manner and provide similar levels of support to both conventions. Second, we make a special effort, as do many companies in our industry, to provide the conventions with technology tools to help enable this part of the American democratic process to operate efficiently and accurately. And third, we do not endorse either political party or its nominee. We’ve been committed to all three of these principles through four presidential elections, and this year will be no exception.
A year ago, we started identifying the places where Microsoft technology could help this important part of the democratic process operate smoothly. Based on our conversations with the Republican National Convention’s host committee and committee on arrangements, we decided last fall to provide a variety of Microsoft technology products and services instead of making a cash donation. For the Democratic National Convention, we’re providing access to similar Microsoft technology as well as some sponsorship of host committee activities. The Microsoft technology for both conventions includes Office 365, Azure, Surface and other products.
In recent weeks we’ve engaged in conversation with groups that have asked us about our plans for the conventions this July. We’ve been happy to answer their questions and listen to their feedback. Even as we’ve done so, we’ve remained steadfast and comfortable with the decisions that we previously made. We continue to believe that the principles that have guided us for over 15 years remain sound today. In particular, we believe that technology from Microsoft and other companies provides an important tool that helps the democratic process work better.
So as we’ve explained to others, we’re not changing our planned activities for the conventions in 2016. We appreciate that this year’s conventions may have some more dramatic moments than in some prior years. This is all the more reason, in our view, to ensure that they benefit from technology tools that are used for a range of important activities, from helping to record accurate vote counts to sharing information quickly and accurately with delegates and the public.