Assessment of Electronic Write-in Voting Interfaces for Persons with Visual Impairments
In 2002, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) mandated that all Americans should have an equal opportunity to vote with privacy and security. However, current electric voting technologies have unsuccessfully provided barrier-free access for people with visual impairments to write in a desired candidate’s name without assistance. The present work describes a new e-voting technology where voters independently use a mouse to interact with a virtual audio keyboard that provides the ability to type, check, and modify a write-in candidate choice. The goal of this work is to create an accessible, accurate, and independent keyboard based interaction mechanism for visually impaired voters. The interface was assessed using 16 participants. Performance was measured in terms of voting speed, accuracy, and preference. The system was compared to a voting technology that uses a linear method to select letters. Results indicated that performance using the linear write-in interface was significantly better than the virtual keyboard. The results also revealed an interesting distinction between human muscle memory and spatial memory.
KeywordsVisual impairments Write-in voting Accessibility Spatial memory
The authors would like to thank the Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates (DREU) for affording the opportunity for the authors to perform this research.
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