Re: Touchscreens for Voting Machines

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Thu Nov 02 2006 - 13:52:38 CST

Arthur, most of the voting systems on the market have some sort of auxillirary control panel that lets one navigate on screen choices with physical buttons or wheels. This also can be an aid to wheel chair access.

Second, there certain are kinds of touchscreens that are supposed to be autocalibrating. I think they have some sort of embedded wiring for absolute positioning. There can still be a problem with pressure sensitivityy and, on the capacative ones, moisture.

Another problem that might cause jumping votes, especially in the arthritic elderly, is the drooping finger syndrome. If you can't make a good fist your middle finger will strike the screen concurrently with your index finger. Since the middle finger will be below your field of view you may not even realize you are doing it. (easier to see than explain--try touching your screen with an extended index finger while pretending to hold a tennis ball)

-----Original Message-----
>From: Arthur Keller <>
>Sent: Nov 2, 2006 2:16 PM
>To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list <>
>Subject: [OVC-discuss] Touchscreens for Voting Machines
>The Achilles heel of touchscreen voting machines (including
>electronic ballot printers and electronic markers, not just DREs) is
>the need to calibrate the touchscreens. My guess is that a
>significant portion of the "vote jumping" problems are due to
>miscalibrated touchscreens. My experience with the only vote jumping
>problem I encountered as a precinct inspector what that recalibration
>fixed the problem.
>I have two suggestions:
>1. All touchscreen voting machines should allow recalibration in the
>middle of a ballot session. This way, the voter can complete the
>process correctly. If the voter has made some selections already,
>the Sequoia Edge will not allow the ballot session to be cancelled
>(with the voter casting a vote on another voting machine).
>2. ATMs have buttons down one or both sides of the screen. The view
>alignment is often off because of the thickness of the bezel, so the
>alignment of the buttons and the legends on the screen varies based
>on the height of the viewer. However, a strip of buttons akin to a
>"chicklets keyboard" (like the PC jr. keyboard) stuck to the side(s)
>of the LCD would not have this problem, as the thickness of the bezel
>and keyboard would be less.
>Does anyone have a source for a thin strip of buttons (about 1 inch
>square) with a keyboard-style computer interface that can be affixed
>to one or both sides of a 17" LCD monitor?
>Best regards,
>Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4507
>tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
>OVC-discuss mailing list

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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:04 2006

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