Between the aging of our population, general disabilities, and wounded veterans coming back from overseas, there are an ever-increasing number of individuals that are not able to easily make the trip to vote at standard polling locations. This system hopes to change that.
1. An application is currently under development that has the ability to take electronic ballot information (ideally in an XML format) and reformat it into a highly accessible presentation. This application is a simple, uncluttered presentation of the information and controls needed to complete the ballot and has many accessibility accommodations available including variable font sizes and screen-to-text contrast. The application is also designed to be compatible with a number of assistive technologies (sip and puff systems, joysticks, 2 or 5 button controllers, speech output, and more.)
2. This application can be utilized on any mobile device, laptop, or even natively on a voting machine, however, our principal idea involves the use of an Apple iPad. An iPad running this voting application will be installed into a custom, tamper-proof case outfitted with large tactile controls. This case will not allow interaction with the "Home" button on the iPad, removing the ability for users to exit the application.
3. Users can then interact with the application in two ways:
- The handheld iPad in the custom case can be brought to patients who are, for instance, unable to leave their bed. Patients can then interact and mark their ballots via the touch screen, the tactile controls on the iPad case, or another compatible assistive technology.
- The iPad can be installed in a kiosk or semi-permanent stand. The iPad and case will securely lock into the stand to prevent theft or unwelcome interactions. The kiosk itself can have a much more robust set of controls for interacting with the application, including a full keyboard. Users go to the kiosk, mark their ballots using a variety of available methods, and then the final marked ballots can then be sent into polling locations using any permissible submission method, like printing and mailing.