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Voting Systems For:

Since 1998, the Trace Center has worked to develop solutions for making electronic voting systems more accessible and usable. The techniques and strategies developed by Trace can be applied to a wide range of electronic voting systems, from handheld tablets to larger tabletop units and kiosks.

Extended Usability Approach

The Trace Center proposes a new approach to accessibility standards for electronic voting systems called "Extended Usability". Mainstream direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems can be made accessible for people with most disabilities by adding a few simple modifications (mostly software). These modifications provide accessibility for people with most disabilities - particularly those experienced by older individuals. To provide access for those people who have no vision at all or who require special switches, a special input module could be plugged in to the mainstream voting units.  For more information about this concept, see Accessible Voting Handout (PDF).

Trace Prototype Voting System

As a tool for research and development, the Trace Center developed a series of working prototypes, the latest prototype is shown in the photo on this page.  Our work on voting accessibility is a specific application of the EZ Access® interface strategies developed at the Trace Center. Although the Trace prototype has not been made commercially available, it has been demonstrated extensively and has influenced both voting standards and voting interface design.

Key Links to Other Work on Voting Accessibility

The following are links to some key web sites focusing on voting standards and accessibility:

Trace’s Publications and Presentations on Voting Accessibility

The following are links to selected papers and presentations from Trace's work on voting accessibility:

Complete list of Trace Publications and Presentations on Voting Accessibility

Funding for this work has been provided by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education, under grants H133E030012 and H133E980008.