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The experience of accessible voting: Results of a survey among legally blind users

By Gillian E. Piner and Michael D. Byrne


The Help America Vote Act (2002) mandated that all polling places have an accessible method of voting available for those wishing to vote in federal elections. Unfortunately, there is presently little voting-specific data available to help guide the design of accessible voting systems for special segments of the population, such as visually impaired voters. We hope to fill this gap, and report on results from a questionnaire survey of 180 legally blind Americans of voting age to understand voting experiences and desired changes to improve voting technology. We found that most respondents vote in person at a polling location, and prefer audio voting systems with a recorded human male voice to other methods or options, including Braille. Important issues were identified. For example, lack of poll worker training with accessible technology was reported to be a problem by 24 % of respondents, and was significantly more likely to be reported by those who had been assisted by a poll worker in the past. These results can help inform the design of future accessible voting interfaces

Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1037/e578902012-361
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
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