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Re: Blind ballots

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@sonic.net>
Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 07:31:32 -0700
Message-Id: <200110061431.f96EVW906073@sonic.net>
To: joeclark@joeclark.org, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Hi,

Last week I ran some usability and accessibility tests on voting equipment
that a California county is in the process of buying.  One of the
test subjects was a quadriplegic who voted by mouthstick.  The other
test subject was a blind person who voted by using audio output
from the voting equipment and a number pad.  Both were able to vote
independently.

The problem with a written paper ballot is that a blind voter can't
review his/her choices like a sighted person can.

Scott

> >A friend just forwarded a note about a web-based secret ballot being 
> >developed for use in the US for the blind.
> 
> I don't know why there has to be a special blind Web ballot. An 
> accessible Web ballot works for blind and sighted voters.
> 
> >For most people, using a voting machine behind a curtain or marking 
> >a print ballot in a curtained booth is secret, but for the blind 
> >using these means, they must convey their intent to someone else in 
> >order to use them.
> 
> That is not true. The last three elections I've voted in that used 
> paper ballots provided hard plastic templates that fit over the 
> circles in which you draw an X. A staffmember reads the names of all 
> candidates one after another. All you have to remember is which 
> circle to mark. You step behind the screen and write an X in that 
> circle. No one knows your vote.
> 
> A mobility-impaired person has different needs, and the computerized 
> voting system I had to use last year was entirely inaccessible to 
> pretty much everyone who could not lean directly over a VGA 
> monochrome LCD and touch a single character cell with a very tightly 
> tethered special pen. But with paper ballots, there is no necessary 
> inaccessibility to the blind.
Received on Saturday, 6 October 2001 10:31:49 GMT

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