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Stakeholder Workshop 1

Voting Breakout Group: Notes

(Notetaker: Cynthia Jimes)

Additional notes taken during the breakout here:

What is our scope?

Whatever form of voting that someone decides on--that should be accessible.  And include all stages that lead up to and surround the actual voting act. all require needs and preferences. And as long as you have an interface, preferences are involved

From the stakeholder interview discussion --> Preferences most important:

  • Language - because of voting rights act requirements (incl. language minorities not covered in nvra. and some want to know what languages are avail at their polling place, so people who can speak those languages at the voting place)

  • Display characteristics - text size and contrast

  • Interaction - how am i going to use display and if so how will i want display configured, what is my input method what is my output method

  • in a growing number of jurisdictions you can vote at any polling place

  • known patterns of voters - so someone with visual needs may come always at noon and you begin to see the pattern

  • wait time for any given instance

Two main places where prefs come in

  • ways you can tell the voting office how to engage with you

  • then when you get to engage with a system, mark and cast votes (and all channels have to be accessible)

Stages of voting process

  • voting rights awareness

  • voter registration voter location awareness

  • status of voter location

  • voting ID

  • accessing voting

There are several systems where people could benefit from preferences:

Election Systems

  • Voter registration

  • Voter information (website - e.g. candidate info, polling place info)

  • "Remote" voting system (website?)

  • Poll book

  • Voting system


a. Ways to register to vote:

  • online

  • in person

  • motor voter (falls under in-person)

  • some other indirect ways of interacting

b. Knowing where to vote

  • may have to go through an app--tell it your adress, download sample ballot, etc. in order to get the info online about your voter condition

  • mail you a card is typical way

c. Then actual voting process - preparing to vote, deciding whom to vote on, marking and casting

What are the issues that you hear as being the most frustrating for voters?

  • the problems i hear most isn’t really about system accessibility, but that polling places aren’t ready for them. polling places have to have acc. voting machines. but most of time they are not set up. so this is biggest issue. but in terms of voter and the system itself:

  • not enough time. esp if need audio

MD (the state) says that can’t be multiple voting systems. only single voting system for all voters. so one voting computer and it is also accessible. on these systems, what is missing:

  • they wnat to use their own technology - bring their own AT

  • want to be able to deal with their preferences on their machine without election official there breathing over shoulder. so to handle this, we can set up all preferences first, then activate ballot later (this was work that we are thinking about. this is huge change in how we think about the voting session)

  • i wish that the lanuage was written so that I could understand it. simpler language, so that it matches my reading level. like i’d like to have ballot measures where i don’t have to vote no to say yes

  • want to move the device/voting machine into a physical way that is more accomodating or having it more phsycially amenable

Edge cases for voting:

  • hearing and vision impaired

  • individuals with mutliple disabilities

  • spanish speaking and good english, but low literacy in either langauge, and needs audio ballot

  • individuals who are older and vision impaired

  • cognitive/memory

Voting Breakout Session - Creating Use Cases and Needs and Preferences

Name: Minjun (pronounced Min-Joon)

Age: 28

Occupation: Home health aid


  • His parents.

  • TV

  • Korean singing


  • Has vision loss, including being color blind.  As an immigrant, newly naturalized, English is Minjun’s second language.  

  • Although he can remember who the candidates are from seeing them on TV, he has problems reading their names.

  • Comfort level with tech: Functional

  • Has not voted before.

Needs & Preferences:

  • Color Contrast

  • Text size

  • Language  (Korean)  (ability to switch back an forth)

  • Audio

Alternatives to discovering what the person needs:

  • Discovery at polling place

  • Discovery at "kiosk" (non voting system)

  • Discovery on voting machine

  • Discovery on electronic poll book

  • Prescription by voting personnel  (may be success or failure)

  • Discovery "remotely" (e.g. at home, library computer, assisted living)

FIRST DISCOVERY Use Case Storyboards ("Minjun wants to vote")


- advantage is relatively few preferences

- no assumption of expertise on part of assistance

- fast ()

We think:

- Preferences should be modeled during setup (this is like Explore)


  • person goes to voting place

  • has not voted before

  • low civic literacy

Step 1:

- Arrives at polling place

- There is a line

Step 2:

- A poll worker (working the line) approaches him

- Asks if there are any first time voters

- Poll worker "presents" kiosk to voter (before/after/during registration TBD)

[Registration might take place before or after use of the practice/preference kiosk]

Step 3:

- Poll worker guides him to the practice/preference kiosk

Step 4:

- Poll worker asks if they would like a headset to hear the very short "how-to video"

- If they plug it in, this is [PREFERENCE-AUDIO BALLOT]

Step 5:

- Language picker [PREFERENCE-LANGUAGE] in high contrast, large text, and audio

Step 6:

- Do you need alternate input  [PREFERENCES-ALT-INPUT] in high contrast, large text, and audio

- Poll worker can help them answer and help connect device???

Step 7:

- A very short video plays explaining that this system will help them making the voting system easier to use. User can replay video. Control buttons (and captions) high contrast, large text, and audio

Step 8(a):

- Pick from a variety of high contrast and low contrast options. [PREFERENCE-COLOR_CONTRAST]

- Pick from presets that encompass various settings in each preset configuration (e.g. blank screen, contrast, text size)

-Presets are snippets of actual screenshots

Step 8(b):

- Pick from a variety of high contrast and low contrast options (this is included in presets below?). [PREFERENCE-TEXT-SIZE]

- Pick from presets that encompass various settings in each preset configuration (e.g. blank screen, contrast, text size)

-Presets are snippets of actual screenshots

Step 8(c):

Step 9:

- Practice/preference kiosk output is needs and preference (token/ticket/whatever) which is then used SOMEHOW to setup voting machine UI

Step 10:

- Goes to vote on voting machine...

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