Re: Why PIN or smartcard is REQUIRED

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Sun May 16 2004 - 11:22:40 CDT

> Explain how Ellen's and David's approach works for visually impaired
> voters.

In Ellen's system (partially pre-printed ballots), blind voters are
given an appropriate ballot page just like anyone else. If that blind
voter--or ANY voter--feels they have difficulty loading the paper, they
can request poll worker assistance. Loading paper is certainly not
beyond the abilities of most blind people. If any voter needs
assistance loading paper, the poll worker still leaves them in the
private area to actually select the votes.

Under David's system, a blind voter is told a 5-6 digit PIN (partially
key+party). If that voter feels they can remember 6 digits for the
amount of time it takes to walk from check-in to voting booth, they
enter it just like a sighted voter does. Obviously, the feedback for
PIN entry will be over headphones rather than on screen, just like the
other voting actions are presented (e.g. "Thank you, we will now begin
marking a Republican ballot" or "I'm sorry, the PIN you have entered is
not valid on this machine; please try your PIN again, or ask a poll
worker for assistance").

If a blind voter feels he cannot remember 6 digits for a minute, a poll
worker can assist him with initialization. But this will be a minority
of the cases. An alternative might be to have a handheld Braille
printer (similar in size to a handheld hole punch) to create PIN cards
with. It shouldn't take much longer to punch 6 digits than to write
them with a pencil.

> Ed's poll worker approach is probably too labor intensive.

Maybe. It does require a little bit of extra work. But keeping an eye
on pocketable smartcards is probably a similar effort. Studies with
stopwatches would give us more information here. I guess it depends
how far the walk from a check-in desk to a vote station is.
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:46 2004

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