Re: A question about paper ballots and ADA compliance

From: Jim March <jmarch_at_prodigy_dot_net>
Date: Fri Jul 01 2005 - 23:36:06 CDT

Ed Kennedy wrote:

> Hello Jim:
>
> I didn't quite follow what you said about glue and audio tracks for
> independent voting by the blind. Could you expand on that a little?

Sure.

What Rhode Island did was take a standard paper ballot and build a thin
cardboard "sheath" for it that locked the ballot in tight.

Strips of glue were positioned just above each hole in the "sheath"
where a mark could be made. These formed "raised bumps"...half inch
long or so, 3/16ths wide, about 3/16ths tall. Very easy to "feel for".
They can also be color-coded (more on that in a sec). The one I saw
used what appeared to be short beads of silicon sealer left to dry, very
well stuck to the "sheath" and very easy to feel.

Different audio tracks were made up for blind voters in different
languages and and different languages for sighted people.

The blind audio track in English (in an ordinary cassette player with
headphones) would go something like:

-----
OK, first you're going to pick the president. Find the first horizontal
row of bumps. The first bump in that row is right above the mark for
Kerry. Swipe that to vote for him. The next bump is for Bush. Swipe
just below that for him.

The next horizontal row of bumps is for congressional reps. The first
bump there...

----
...and so on.  If you're dealing with a sighted person who is 
illiterate, they can get a cassette tape that refers to color-codes of 
glue strip versus bumps by row and column, or they can follow the same 
"bump location directions" that a blind person uses and you use just one 
color of glue strip on the sheath.
Either way, people are swiping across a hole in the sheath that conforms 
to ballot mark locations on the underlying paper ballot.  (Blind voters 
are shown where the "swipe holes" are in relation to the bumps ahead of 
time, either by the audio track instructions or by a pollworker before 
they actually start marking.
Once you pull the finished paper ballot out of the "sheath" it looks 
like any other hand-marked paper ballot and can be scanned, hand 
counted, whatever.
It's a completely accessible low-tech solution.
Jim
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Received on Sun Jul 31 23:17:11 2005

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