Re: Fw: Python help needed immediately -- simple Electronic Ballot Printer

From: Barbara Simons <simons_at_acm_dot_org>
Date: Thu Jan 10 2008 - 17:37:42 CST

Dick,

I agree that it makes sense to provide a variety of technologies. My
original comment was simply to caution people about how they use
language, especially since the postings on this list are public. I hope
that you are successful at incorporating the various technologies that
you mention into a voting system in a fashion that is easily usable and,
ideally, not too costly.

Regards,
Barbara

Richard C. Johnson wrote:
> Barbara,
>
> Enhanced Access means that any person should be able to use the
> device. I agree with you that there is a continuous spectrum of
> different abilities (not necessarily DIS-abilities) that may or may
> not map to the available means to access the voting process. The
> consensus is that the provision of hand marked ballots in a precinct
> scan system works best for most, but not all, people.
>
> Some of the people for whom paper ballots are not suitable would
> prefer an audio interaction capability (VoiceVoting), while others
> would want a touch-responsive or tactile means of access. People who
> neither hear nor see might prefer a Braille access device. We should
> not question why people want specific access; it is enough that they
> do want a variety of means. It is up to us to then produce a system
> with alternative means for different people who make up the voting public.
>
> All of the above features are planned for OpenScan as part of its
> standard offering, with different peripheral devices used for
> different preferences and different access methods. VoiceVoting
> requires a headset (earphones + mic) and Braille requires an interface
> which substitutes for the monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Each means of
> access will result in a paper ballot which can be scanned; in each
> case, the scanned ballot can be fed back to the voter so that the
> voter may approve what is on the paper ballot.
>
> No matter what the access, the means of voting through a marked paper
> ballot are the same. The scanning is the same, and only the I/O
> access differs.
>
> We at Open Voting Solutions believe that the incorporation of enhanced
> access into the standard voting system is the best means of serving
> the needs of all Americans for access and equal accommodation. We are
> focused on what people who vote want and need, on their access
> preferences, not on the machine requirements so much as the
> requirements people have for access to voting.
>
> -- Dick
>
> */Barbara Simons <simons@acm.org>/* wrote:
>
> With all due respect, there are far more types of disabilities than
> visual and manual. For example, someone who is both deaf and blind
> could not vote independently on either a DRE or the electronic ballot
> marking systems such as the AutoMark. The only type of system
> currently
> available that would work for such an individual is some form of
> tactile
> ballot.
>
> There also are, for example, people with learning disabilities or who
> have difficult processing certain kinds of input. Such people may
> have
> neither a visual nor a manual disability, but they still have a
> disability that could impact their ability to vote.
>
> Regards,
> Barbara
>
> P.S. HAVA says that voting systems shall:
>
> > 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;
>
> It does not say that the voting systems should be accessible only for
> people with visual or manual disabilities.
>
> My view is that the HAVA requirement is unattainable by any single
> voting system, though it might be workable if a variety of systems
> were
> used. There are also issues of cost that I think should have been
> considered in the writing of HAVA, but weren't.
>
> Danny Swarzman wrote:
> > Barbara,
> >
> > It's not disabilities generally. Just some for which voting systems
> > make accommodations.
> >
> > "Enhanced access" has been used for special components designed for
> > those accommodations. Doesn't flow off the tip of the tongue, but
> > what can you do?
> >
> > There are really only two types of disabilities: visual and manual.
> > The accommodation usually mentioned is a machine that prints paper
> > ballots.
> >
> > Visually impaired voters enter their choices through audio prompts
> > with voters pressing buttons. Voters with some other
> disabilities can
> > use one of several available pointing devices..
> >
> > This is one area where it's important to be specific as well as
> > inoffensive. In a discussion in San Francisco, a politician sitting
> > in a wheelchair gave an impassioned speech about voters with
> > disabilities. She made no connection between the plight of disabled
> > voters and the decision that was before the board but it sounded
> like
> > she did.
> >
> > -Danny
> >
> >
> >
> > On Jan 9, 2008, at 12:50 PM, Barbara Simons wrote:
> >
> >
> >> Hi, Asheesh. Actually, there are far more disabilities than simply
> >> vision and hearing problems. For example, ballot marking
> devices are
> >> being attacked by some DRE supporters on the grounds that
> people with
> >> severe mobility impairment are unable to handle the paper
> ballot after
> >> it is printer or marked. Many elderly people have some kinds of
> >> disabilities, independent of how they might actually view
> themselves.
> >> For example, not only do vision and hearing tend to deteriorate
> with
> >> age, but - something that election officials frequently don't think
> >> about - many elderly voters have difficulty standing for a long
> >> time in
> >> line waiting to vote. Something as simple as providing chairs at
> >> polling places would help a lot, but of course that's not
> especially
> >> relevant to this list. Other types of disabilities involve learning
> >> disorders, mental and emotional problems, etc.
> >>
> >> I believe that "able bodied" is the phrase that is used. I have a
> >> knowledgeable contact in the disability rights movement, and I'll
> >> check
> >> to see if that is the best wording. Finally, though the
> >> distinction is
> >> subtle, my contact has recommended that I use the phrase "people/
> >> voters
> >> with disabilities," rather than "disabled people/voters."
> >>
> >> Regards,
> >> Barbara
> >>
> >> Asheesh Laroia wrote:
> >>
> >>> On Wed, 9 Jan 2008, Barbara Simons wrote:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> Hi, all. I realize that Alan has the best of intentions regarding
> >>>> people with disabilities.
> >>>>
> >>>> However, I feel the need to point out that classifying people as
> >>>> either
> >>>> "disabled" or "normal" will alienate members of the disability
> >>>> rights
> >>>> community - who have been fighting for years to avoid being
> >>>> characterized as "abnormal" - and will make it easier for
> >>>> anti-technology forces to falsely characterize technologists as
> >>>> being
> >>>> indifferent or worse to issues of concern to people with
> >>>> disabilities.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>> Hi Barbara,
> >>>
> >>> I'm new to this list. I'm not new to discussing e-voting and
> >>> promoting
> >>> sanity in this area.
> >>>
> >>> Would it be better to say "The voting system accommodates people
> >>> with all
> >>> levels of hearing and seeing" rather than "The voting system
> >>> accommodates
> >>> people of normal and abnormal hearing and seeing"?
> >>>
> >>> Maybe you can propose precise phrasing that helps us say what we
> >>> mean in a way that is respectful, or alternately help change
> our (my)
> >>> understanding so that we are respectful by default.
> >>>
> >>> Thanks!
> >>>
> >>> -- Asheesh.
> >>>
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Received on Fri Jan 11 16:16:33 2008

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