A Universal Ballot to Enable Voting for All
Voting is a glocalized event across countries, states and municipalities in which individuals of all abilities want to participate. To enable people with disabilities to participate accessible voting is typically implemented by adding assistive technologies to electronic voting machines to accommodate people with physical and visual disabilities. To overcome the complexities and inequities in this practice, two interfaces, EZ Ballot, which uses a linear yes/no input system for all selections, and QUICK Ballot, which provides random access voting through direct selection, were designed with multi-modal inputs and outputs to provide one system for all voters. This paper reports on the results of Phase I usability testing of EZ Ballot with 21 adults with visual, dexterity and cognitive limitations, which indicated the need for the second interface and describes the Phase II efficacy testing of both interfaces that is currently ongoing. Participants performed a standard set of voting tasks including: voting for one and two candidates, using the write-in function, voting on a referendum and changing their vote. Task performance was recorded by video. Post-trial interviews solicited feedback about ease of use and preferences. Overall, the study demonstrated that people with different limitations could perform voting tasks on a single system, although their preferred input and output methods varied, suggesting that providing flexibility through multi-modal inputs is important to ensure participation of all individuals in the voting process.
KeywordsAccessible voting Ballot design User interface Multi-modal Interactions
This study was funded, in part, by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation as part of a grant from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
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