[nfbwatlk] Oregon looks to iPad to make voting easier for those with disabilities, The Oregonian, November 7 2011

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Sat Nov 12 15:48:07 CST 2011

Al, You are right about the Auto Mark, it is great, we use in MN, but 
there is one further thing to remember concerning secret 
ballots.  The machine has a screen, and by default, it is turned on, 
so you must turn it off.  There is a button marked scrn I think.


At 04:46 PM 11/9/2011, you wrote:
>Hi All
>Here in Greenville North Carolina we have what I consider to be a 
>perfectly secret ballot system. When Gerrie and I voted yesterday we 
>arranged our own transportation to the polling location, walked in 
>and found our correct location, got our paper ballot then went to 
>where the AutoMark talking voting machine was located. This machine 
>has a headset plugged in. First it instructs you to insert your 
>ballot into the machine then with the up and down arrows choose the 
>instructions screen. Then you right arrow into the election info, in 
>this case the Mayor's race. Having found that info you arrow up or 
>down through the choices then press the "select" button when you 
>have highlited your choice. Then you right arrow again to the City 
>Council at large race, up or down arrow and select your choice. When 
>you have reached the last race the machine reads back your choices, 
>allowing you to make changes if you want. Then you have the print 
>ballot option which marks your ballot then returns it to you.  In 
>addition to the arrow and select buttons the machine has buttons to 
>adjust the volume and speed, replay the choice and turn the display 
>screen on or off. When you receive your marked ballot back from the 
>machine you then go over to the "ballot box" machine into which you 
>insert the ballot which, as I understand it, reads the ballot, drops 
>it into the storage area at the bottom of the machine and records 
>the information on a storage media to be counted and confirmed 
>later. This whole process took about five minutes for each of us. We 
>both cast our ballot without assistance from the polling place 
>workers. This is the best system that I have ever seen; total 
>accessability and completely secret.
>Albert Sanchez
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Prows, Bennett (HHS/OCR)" 
><Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV>
>To: "NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
>Sent: Wednesday, November 09, 2011 4:45 PM
>Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] Oregon looks to iPad to make voting easier 
>forthose with disabilities, The Oregonian, November 7 2011
>>Well, Mike, the use of a "trusted" amanuensis is of course one 
>>answer.  If we use that theory though, I guess we have to resign 
>>ourselves to the fact that our vote will never be completely 
>>secret.  I for one think there probably will be a way, using 
>>technology to get the privacy some crave, so we don't require an 
>>amanuensis at some point. The closest we've gotten was to use the 
>>voting machine at the polling place.  Vote by mail certainly has 
>>screwed that up.
>>Bennett Prows
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org 
>>[mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Mike Freeman
>>Sent: Wednesday, November 09, 2011 12:39 PM
>>To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
>>Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] Oregon looks to iPad to make voting easier 
>>for those with disabilities, The Oregonian, November 7 2011
>>I confess that I agree with the attorney quoted in the article that 
>>I don't see how use of the iPad is much of a solution for blind 
>>voters. One still needs the printer and must sign the printed 
>>ballot (which one would not know had printed correctly). I realize 
>>I'm a minority of one but I still say the simplest solution is the 
>>old-fashioned one of using a trusted amanuensis.
>>Mike Freeman
>>On Nov 9, 2011, at 10:28, "Nightingale, Noel" 
>><Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov> wrote:
>>>Oregon looks to iPad to make voting easier for those with disabilities
>>>November 07, 2011
>>>By Ryan Kost, The Oregonian
>>>Photo by Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press
>>>Lewis Crew, 75, receives help from a member of an assistance team 
>>>while voting on a iPad, in Beaverton, Ore. Using an iPad, disabled 
>>>voters will be able to call up the right ballot and tap the screen 
>>>to pick a candidate.
>>>Oregon elections officials are turning to iPads in a new attempt 
>>>to make voting as easy and accessible as possible for disabled voters.
>>>In a small pilot program playing out during the special primary 
>>>election to replace former U.S. Rep. David Wu, about 12 voters 
>>>have filled out their ballots on Apple's touch-screen tablet.
>>>As far as elections officials in Oregon can tell, it's a first for 
>>>any state.
>>>"We're really at the edge," said Secretary of State Kate Brown. 
>>>"We want to make voting as convenient as possible."
>>>It's been about five years since the office has invested in a new 
>>>system for voters with disabilities -- a lifetime when it comes to 
>>>technology. So, with the system nearing the end of its life, the 
>>>office decided to experiment with new approaches, including 
>>>laptops and various tablet computers.
>>>"It became very clear, very quickly, the iPad was the best 
>>>solution," said Steve Trout, the state's elections director.
>>>The iPad, Trout says, offers a huge amount of flexibility. For 
>>>those who have issues with vision, the iPad can read the ballot 
>>>aloud. They also have the option of adjusting text size and 
>>>colors. Voters can sign with their fingers or with pens, whichever 
>>>suits their needs. And the tablet can be controlled using 
>>>sip-and-puff wands for those who don't have full use of their hands.
>>>After voters make their selections, they can print a ballot, which 
>>>they put in an envelope and sign as usual.
>>>Elections officials have taken the new system to assisted living 
>>>centers during the primary, along with a portable printer the size 
>>>of a suitcase. So far, the results have been promising.
>>>The tools the state has been relying on for the past five years, 
>>>Brown said, include heavily modified laptop computers that are 
>>>"extremely cumbersome and outdated."
>>>Julie Anderson, an attorney with Disability Rights Oregon, isn't 
>>>so sure the iPad will make the portable systems all that much more 
>>>convenient. There's still the matter of the printer and some other 
>>>equipment, she said.
>>>"I'm a little leery that this is going to increase access," 
>>>Anderson said. "The issue is not the weight or the bulk" so much 
>>>has having the resources to get people out into the communities.
>>>Still, she added, "I applaud any county's efforts to get out 
>>>there" and if the iPads help that, then all the better.
>>>For the first go around, each of the five counties that make up a 
>>>piece of the 1st Congressional District have one iPad, all of 
>>>which were donated by Apple, Trout said. The state invested 
>>>$75,000 to develop the voting software, with guidance from 
>>>community advocates. Those funds came from federal grants.
>>>The counties will use the iPads again for the special general 
>>>election in January. After that, officials will review the new 
>>>system. If they press forward, Trout said, he'd like to see two 
>>>tablets in each county, which would set the state back $36,000 at full cost.
>>>Even so, that's a bargain given that Oregon spent $325,000 during 
>>>the last biennium to keep the current system up to date, he said. 
>>>"It's just easier and simpler both for the voter and the county 
>>>elections officials."
>>>-- Ryan Kost

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