Electronic Voting for All: Co-creating an Accessible Interface
The study investigated the extent to which electronic voting is accessible to Dutch voters, especially the visually impaired, those with low literacy, and the elderly. Together with the different user groups, a series of electronic interfaces were developed and simulations of a vote-printer were built to run tests on large numbers of participants. The interface consisted of a card reader, a touchscreen and a printer; audio support was available via a headset. For participants with disabilities, the independent variables were visual impairment and low literacy. For elderly participants, the independent variable was age. All participants were asked to make specific choices on the screen and to check the printed result for their choice. As reference, they were asked to vote using the current Dutch ballot paper/red pencil system. The criteria used to determine the accessibility of both systems was: does the printed ballot match the intended vote? The vote-printer significantly increased independent voting by the visually impaired, however this was not seen for the low-literacy group. For the elderly, the use of a vote-printer with electronic interface is equally as accessible as the current paper ballot. All three groups reported using a vote-printer with electronic interface to be easier than the current paper ballot. The study confirmed that co-creating with intended users in the early conceptualization phase is key.
KeywordsAccessibility Electronic voting Design for all
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