United States Election Assistance Comittee

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Accessible Voting Technology Grant Winners

Recipient Program Summaries

Clemson University; Clemson, SC
Principal Investigator: Dr. Juan Gilbert
Program Name: The Research Alliance for Accessible Voting (RAAV): Making Voting Accessible for Everyone
Funding Level: $4,500,000 Total Costs

Project Description: The Research Alliance for Accessible Voting (RAAV) was established to “advance the state of elections and voting through research, development, evaluation, dissemination and implementation of concepts and technologies that increase access to and participation in democracy.” RAAV will be working on innovative solutions that are required to overcome technological issues in providing accessibility to all voters, especially those with disabilities. This includes the development of technologies that provide private and independent verification of paper ballots. In addition to its focus on technological solutions, some RAAV partners have a strong interest and track record in human interface issues that include technology but go further to address simplified language, poll worker training and support, and use of multi-modal information. The project, under the direction of Dr. Juan Gilbert, will bring together a unified approach to accessible voting.

UPDATE: The Election Center, on behalf of Clemson University, has scheduled a series of four training sessions in 2012 to receive input on the issue of voting accessibility. Each of the four sessions will have the same content. The locations and dates are as follows: Miami (March 9), Los Angeles (March 15), Dallas (June 13), Chicago (July 10).

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation; Washington, DC
Principal Investigator: Mr. Daniel Castro
Program Name: Accessible Voting Technology Initiative
Funding Level: $2,500,000 Total Costs

Project Description: The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) proposes a holistic view to the challenge of increasing accessibility for voters with disabilities, taking into consideration social and environmental requirements along with the technological requirements. This approach has been called “design thinking.” The ITIF consortium brings together partners with expertise in design, technology, usability, accessibility, and elections. Their project is organized into three phases: Defining the problem, Designing the solution, and Looking to the future. The consortium will first research the barriers to participation; survey current election management practices; evaluate current systems; identify innovative assistive technologies; and gather other requirements from working directly with people with disabilities and advocacy organizations. After this research is complete, the group intends to issue targeted sub-grants to develop promising concepts into full prototypes.

UPDATE: As part of the project, ITIF has launched an online open innovation challenge seeking public input to the question "How might we design an accessible election experience for everyone?". Voters, non-voters, election officials, people with disabilities, designers, engineers, students and others can participate. For details, click here.

For background information on the grant, see 2010 Accessible Voting Technology Initiative