Re: Privately and independently -- how will OVC dealwith this?

From: Jim Tobias <tobias_at_inclusive_dot_com>
Date: Sun Jun 28 2009 - 08:37:38 CDT

rather than develop "our own" expertise, it might be better to engage directly with disability advocates. they're already better informed about disability law, are certainly driving the discourse on accessible voting, and we need to work with them anyway as co-developers.

i'd be interested in hearing counter-arguments to this strategy.

***
Jim Tobias
Inclusive Technologies
+1.908.907.2387 v/sms
skype jimtobias
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Edward Cherlin [mailto:echerlin@gmail.com]
> Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2009 4:19 AM
> To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
> Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Privately and independently -- how
> will OVC dealwith this?
>
> We need to find out what categories of disability currently
> matter under various laws. We might start here (one law
> school, one Federal, one California):
>
> http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/Disability_law
> Wex is an ambitious effort to construct a
> collaboratively-created, public-access law dictionary and
> encyclopedia. It is sponsored and hosted by the Legal
> Information Institute at the Cornell Law School.
>
> http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/Disability_law
>
> http://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm
> U.S. Department of Justice
> Civil Rights Division
> Disability Rights Section
>
> A Guide to Disability Rights Laws
>
> http://www.disabilityaccessinfo.ca.gov/default.htm
> http://www.disabilityaccessinfo.ca.gov/lawsregs.htm
> California Disability Access Information Website
>
>
> On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 11:17 AM, Alan
> Dechert<dechert@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I've thought about this a bit more, and I have arrived at a
> few conclusions.
> > Eventually, we will have to design an add-on device (or perhaps
> > several different devices) for accessibility. In thinking
> about the
> > AutoCAST feature ES&S claims to have developed for the AutoMARK, we
> > could probably make something that works with our system -
> maybe better than the AutoCAST.
> >
> > http://www.essvote.com/HTML/products/automark.html
> >
> > Depending on the nature of the voter's disabilities, the
> device could
> > plug into, say, three USB ports: one for the barcode
> reader, one for
> > the mechanical paper handling device, and one for
> sip-and-puff input.
> > A blind quadriplegic could use it - so long as he or she
> could hear via headphones.
> > After review of the printed ballot, the voter could choose
> to cast or
> > reject the ballot. The ballot would then descend through
> one chute or
> > the other, into the ballot box or spoiled bin.
> >
> > But this brings up the problem we have with the Holt bill.
> Who are we
> > designing this for?
> >
> > Then again, the problem is not so much with the Holt bill, but the
> > HAVA bill itself. HAVA says the voter with disabilities
> needs to be
> > able to vote independently and with privacy. It's
> mentioned several
> > times in HAVA. Here is one example:
> >
> > . need to make voting equipment fully accessible for individuals
> > with disabilities, including the blind and visually impaired, the
> > need to ensure that such individuals can vote independently and
> > with privacy,
> >
> > This language is highly problematic. "Privacy" is not
> really a big problem.
> > We can pretty easily understand and define what's meant by
> that. The
> > voter should be able to indicate selections and cast the ballot
> > without revealing those selections to anyone else.
> >
> > The big problem is what is meant by "independently." My
> opposition to
> > Holt is not because I don't care if people with
> disabilities can vote
> > privately and independently. It is because "independently"
> is poorly defined.
> >
> > I believe that the litigation will be necessary to get this
> definition.
> > Strategically, we should get the litigation going right away. This
> > could freeze Holt until we get a better definition of
> "independently."
> >
> > We need to know two things:
> >
> > 1) For whom are we designing the accessible device? For
> example, what
> > if our system works for a blind quadriplegic, but not a short and
> > obese blind quadriplegic?
> >
> > 2) What is meant by independently? For example, does it
> really mean
> > the voter will not need assistance reviewing and casting
> the ballot?
> > If the voter rejects the ballot, must the system allow restarting
> > without assistance?
> >
> > Here's an outline of what needs study:
> >
> > We need to work up profiles of voters with a variety of
> disabilities
> > and combinations of disabilities. For the sake of
> argument, let's say
> > we develop 100 profiles such that all of the potential voters with
> > disabilities can be categorized in one of these profiles.
> > Disabilities taken in to consideration would include such things as
> > dexterity, cognition, sight, hearing, mobility, as well as unusual
> > size and shape. These things could even include allergies
> (maybe they
> > have to wear a mask if they go out). For example, profile
> 73 could be
> > for a short and obese blind quadriplegic with poor
> cognition (we may need a lot more than 100 profiles).
> >
> > Then we need to collect data on people that fit these
> profiles. And
> > we need to get some answers about these people. One of the
> issues not
> > dealt with in HAVA is that people with disabilities tend to vote at
> > home with whatever assistance they need. Even if a machine would
> > allow them to vote privately and independently at the
> pollsite, they're just not going to use it anyway.
> > Informal studies show that practically no one uses existing
> accessible
> > voting machines.
> >
> > - How many people fit this profile?
> > - If a pollsite voting machine that works for people in
> this category,
> > what percentage of them would go there and use it?
> > - Do people in this category tend to congregate? If so,
> where? (for
> > example, it might be that people in this category can't live in MN.
> > they all move to Ourtown FL. So, there is no point setting up a
> > machine in MN that meets this specific disability when they
> all live in FL).
> > - Can people in this category be best served with a portable voting
> > machine brought to their home?
> >
> > Then we need to propose some thresholds. What if people in
> category
> > 73 make up .0002 percent of the population? Of these, say,
> only one
> > in 50 would go to the poll site to vote if a machine was
> there to accommodate them.
> >
> > I don't have any specific numbers for thresholds, but some such
> > numbers must be used somewhere. Bottom line is that we
> need something
> > that says something like, "if there is a less than one in
> five chance
> > that a voter in this category will come to the pollsite on Election
> > Day, then the accessible voting machine does not need to
> accommodate voters in this category."
> >
> > In other words, we need to define all the categories,
> figure out where
> > they live, and then figure out for each category the odds that the
> > voters in this category will go to the pollsite.
> >
> > Until we have this information, we can't really know what's
> required
> > to meet the independence requirement. In addition, some other
> > specifics will be needed in the independence definition.
> For example,
> > is it okay if the system requires the voter to ask for
> assistance in
> > order to print another ballot in case the first printout is
> rejected?
> >
> > So, the nature of the lawsuit might be that we demand that the
> > government provide this information. The HAVA accessibility
> > requirement can't be enforced without it.
> >
> > Alan D.
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
>
>
>
> --
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Received on Tue Jun 30 23:17:16 2009

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