RE: Undervoting and Elderly

From: Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp) <"Popkin,>
Date: Wed Jul 14 2004 - 14:19:25 CDT

My instinct would be that anything that would help the elderly would also be
more generally applicable, so my suggestion is that we do the things that
you propose for _all_ voters, and try to find a way to design them so that
they don't hinder the "expert" voters. This is a tricky design challenge,
certainly, as "clippy" proved (by an example of how not to do it).

Warner Music Group
Director of Digital Technology
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-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of charlie
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 12:47 AM
Subject: [voting-project] Undervoting and Elderly

A florida paper did an undervoting study by sampling from 350,000 ballots in
which only a single race was present.

Some interesting results. undervoting on optical scan was 10x lower than
touch screen. However both were lower than the numbers reported by the
caltech/MIT reports.

They also brought up an interesting point: elderly have a harder time with
touch screens. They mention one woman voting prematurely.

Okay so here is the discussion topic: First, there is a lot of focus on the
blind in OVC discussion, but in fact there are many more elderly voters than
blind voters. Second, while in principle touchscreens can dramatically
reduce undervotes by having an "are you sure?" dialog before casting the
ballot in practice this is apparenly never used because it adds
complications and hassle.

So perhaps one shoul dthink about how to help the elderly vote. One thought
is this. at the beginning of the voting session you could offer the voter a
choice "1) i'm a novice, help me 2) just let me vote, clippy".

in novice mode errors get flagged and the user hassled by dialog messages.
also perhaps the screen geometry adjusts a bit to have a help-bar along the
side. Access to large type mode is made more obvious and easy. Perhaps the
user is forced to scroll through the whole screen before voting to prevent
overlooked choices when in large type mode. Perhaps there are more audio
cues, "you must select three choicies on this screen, old timer". perhaps
even obnoxious clippy pop ups if the machine senses the voter is
strugglying. Basically a more drawn-out, perhaps even painful to the
expert, but sure process.

in expert mode, little used features are subdued for the sake of enhance
information concentration and clarity of presentation. user is allowed to
do possily dumb things like going into large type mode but not scolling
whole screen, under voting, prematurely ending voting session.

Any thoughts?

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Received on Sat Jul 31 23:17:04 2004

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