Re: Voting Booth Mockup

From: Edward Cherlin <echerlin_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sun Jun 01 2008 - 18:22:32 CDT

Thanks. Alan.

On Sun, Jun 1, 2008 at 9:39 AM, Alan Dechert <dechert@gmail.com> wrote:
> I put together a mockup of our voting booth design. One person, no toolshave
> for assembly.

Looks good, but it will require testing under something resembling
real-world conditions. Can we have a kit at the conference for people
to try out?

> The ballot layout (printout from 2004 demo) represents an LCD panel mounted
> on the board. The printer shown is a battery-powered HP H470b, which I use
> for demos. For LinuxWorld, these will be cheaper printers (maybe HP D4260 ~
> $40 ea) with surplus PCs underneath the table. We plan to use 15" LCD
> panels (1024x768) for LinuxWorld, and have a mouse.

Some people have told me that in production systems we should use
something more reliable than inkjet. What do people think?

> In a production system, we might have a smart printer that could run Linux
> and have a DVD drive. Ports, switches, and drive opening would all be in
> the rear of the device. Once booted, it would be attached to the board so
> that there would be no access to these things until the polls close and the
> machines removed.

I see how that prevents replacing the DVD, but it seems that somewhat
more is needed for the ports and switches. How would the printer be
attached? Shouldn't the cables be secured in place and covered?

> A big variable for production use will be the screen. Larger, higher
> resolution, and touchscreen would be more expensive but might be worth it.

I see COTS 20" LCD displays, 1680 x 1050, for a little over $200
retail. 15", 1024 x 768, as low as $125.

Touchscreen (Surface Acoustic Wave), 17", 1280 x 1024, about $500, 15"
, 1024 x 768 $400.

Well, we should talk to Mary Lou Jepsen of Pixel Qi in San Francsco.
She is planning a wide range of new lower-cost, higher resolution
screens for 2009, following on the 1200 x 900 display she created for
One Laptop Per Child at about $30 manufacturing cost. I wrote her an
e-mail about it but Pixel Qi is tied up in raising venture capital at
the moment. When that is done we can have the conversation we need.

> For navigating the ballot, I want to have the entire ballot laid out on one
> screen (our current demo -- using Pvote -- only shows one contest at a
> time). Clicking on (or touching) one contest will fill the screen with just
> that contest. After making a selection, after a slight delay (maybe 2
> seconds), the screen reverts to full-faced view.

We'll have to ask the User Interface specialists about that. I can see
an argument for a fixed, automatic delay, or for waiting until the
user is satisfied and clicks to go back to the full ballot. Speaking
for myself alone, I prefer for the machine to wait for me. In general
I prefer for programmers not to be too smart on my behalf.

> Depending on screen size,
> resolution, size of ballot, etc, the text on the full-faced view may or may
> not all be readable.

If we want to get fancy, each contest could have a scrolling window.
Just providing a readable summary on the main ballot display might
work and would be much simpler.

>However, it will be clear which contests have been
> selected and which ones are left -- and the selections made should be
> readable.

With color or some other form of highlighting?

I have put out a call for Python programming help on the ballot
creation software. Has anybody contacted you yet?

> A voting booth (one per poll site) with enhanced access features would be
> laid out differently (wheel chair access, etc.), but use the same components
> -- along with added headphones, etc.

We need to get that in front of the disabled advocacy groups that need
to be clear on what we are proposing. Some reflexively oppose any
paper ballot without looking at the details. We know that we offer
better assistive technology than DREs, but these groups won't know
that until they see it for themselves.

> Before exiting the voting booth, the voter places the ballot in a privacy
> folder (covers text but leaves bar code exposed). The folder with the
> ballot will be handed to a pollworker at the ballot box.

We have to get this clear with the disabled community as well. You
omitted the option of going to a private reading station,
independently programmed, to verify the bar code. The reading booth
can be the same physically as the assistive voting booth, can't it?

> Alan D.
>
>
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-- 
Edward Cherlin
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
http://www.EarthTreasury.org/
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay
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Received on Mon Jun 30 23:17:05 2008

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