Assessment of Electronic Write-in Voting Interfaces for Persons with Visual Impairments

Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 529)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Visual impairments Write-in voting Accessibility Spatial memory 

References

  1. 1.
    Burton, D., Uslan, M.: The ballot ballet: the usability of accessible voting machines. In: American Foundation for the Blind AccessWorld Magazine (2004)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Conrad, F.G., Bederson, B.B., Lewis, B., Peytcheva, E., Traugott, M.W., Hanmer, M.J., Herrnson, P.S., Niemi, R.G.: Electronic voting eliminates hanging chads but introduces new usability challenges. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 67(1), 111–124 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    McClendon, J.: A new approach to voting: an accessible voter verifiable paper ballot. Master’s thesis, Auburn University (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Piner, G.E., Byrne, M.D.: The experience of accessible voting results of a survey among legally-blind users. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, vol. 55, pp. 1686–1690. SAGE Publications (2011)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Shambon, L.M.: Implementing the help America vote act. Election Law J. 3(3), 424–443 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceMills CollegeOaklandUSA
  2. 2.College of Engineering and ComputingMiami UniversityOxfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of Computer and Information Science and EngineeringGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations