Site Map
Voting News
Contact Us
About Us

is NOT!
associated with

Accessibility Features
Do They Really Allow Individuals with Disabilities to Vote Independently?

In order to provide "Accessibility for individuals with disabilities," HAVA Section 301(a)(3) provides the following requirements for voting systems used in the United States, starting with the first federal election after January 1, 2006:

The voting system shall:
(A) be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters;

How Accessibility's Working Out In Practice
Stories from the polls

Voting Blind on a Danaher Shouptronic (PA)
by Suzanne Erb, April 22, 2008

As a blind voter, I have always wanted to vote privately and independently. In the past, poll workers have assisted me — sometimes only one — and I was not confident my votes had been cast as I intended. More...

Another Sad Story of Voting "Accessibility" (CA)
by Noel Runyan, February 8, 2008

Another sad story is from a voter who lives in the Sacramento area and is blind. She was in an AutoMARK precinct. To start with, the pollworker wouldn't help the voter find the right area to sign in the book. After someone else stepped up and helped, the pollworker tried to excuse herself by saying, "Well, my hands are very cold, so I didn't want to touch her." When the blind voter asked to use the voting machine, the pollworker told her she couldn't "because it's broken" and "your friend here can just fill out the ballot for you." More...

Six Stories about Inaccessible "Accessible" Voting Machines (CA)
by Noel Runyan, February 7, 2008

Last night I got a call from a livid Alameda County voter who called me about 6:30 PM, after he was told that he couldn't vote on the Sequoia DRE unless they could find four other people to vote on the system. Note, our Sec. of State requires that five or more must vote voluntarily on the conditionally certified DREs. More...

Sequoia Edge II e-voting machines' "accessibility" fails - 6 for 6 (CA)
by Noel Runyan, February 5, 2008

If my own experience is any indication, the California Secretary of State's conditions for use are not being met and Sequoia voting systems are seriously failing again.

The following are some notes about my February 5th Primary election experience in Santa Clara County, trying to vote on Sequoia Edge II DRE voting machines. More...

What's Happening on the Accessibility Front?
A look at the info, issues, and events

Vote-PAD: Accessible Voting without Computers

Tactile Ballots -- Alternative for the Blind

Comparison of accessibility features of current systems (Verified Voting Foundation)

Reviews of equipment vendors claim is accessible

Response to Jim Dickson's Recent Statements to Authorities

Aleda J. Devies, a retired systems engineer and activist for the rights of people with disabilities, wrote about the inequity and illegality of providing accessibility for blind voters but not for people with mobility impairments in her article entitled "Touch screen not best choice for disabled voters."

Handout about Accessibility of Voting Systems

What about a VVPAT?
Some organizations of the disabled favor them

American Council for the Blind Resolution Favoring Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail

EFF Amicus Brief supporting disabled voters in Volusia County
EFF Supports Disabled Voters in Fight Against Paperless E-voting
"Accessibility and auditability should not be conflicting values when it comes to voting equipment," said Dixon. "National advocates for the blind do the disabled community of Volusia County a disservice when they presume to speak on our behalf for flawed systems that we do not want. With their support, we could have worked together to promote technology that better assists disabled voters at the same time that it ensured that security and auditability concerns were met. For our part, we will continue to support officials in their efforts to find voting equipment that best protects all voters in the County."

Reviews of equipment vendors claim is accessible
Has Congress mandated the use of technology that does not yet exist?

Noel Runyan, a blind voter and computer scientist who is an expert in designing accessible systems, has graciously allowed VotersUnite! to post his thoughts about Sequoia's and Avante's "accessible" systems.

Mr. Runyan's account of his voting experience on the Sequoia AVC Edge in Santa Clara County, California.

Mr. Runyan's review of the Avante DRE accessibility features and thoughts on the proposed optical character recognition (OCR) ballot scanner for voter-verified paper records.

Kelly Pierce, a blind voter who works in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office wrote an "Accessibility Analysis of Four Proposed Voting Machines," dated March 23, 2005. In addition to the analysis from his own personal experience of the machines, the report includes links to other informative articles on the topic. He has given us permission to distribute this information.

On June 30, 2005, Mr. Pierce wrote a detailed Evaluation of the Audio Interface Sequoia Voting Systems AVC Edge, which includes 37 specific recommendations for improvement. (pdf to print 97 Kb)

We need to make a strong statement
that all these machines need to be redesigned
on the user interface side.
We've got a mistake here.
~ Noel Runyan

Election Problem Log image
2004 to 2009


Accessibility Issues
Accessibility Issues

Cost Comparisons
Cost Comparisons

Flyers & Handouts

VotersUnite News Exclusives

Search by

Copyright © 2004-2010 VotersUnite!