By John Gideon on 2/14/2007, 4:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

According to a new report issued by VoterAction and Demos, “Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines, once considered essential to ensuring private and independent voting booth access for voters with disabilities, often do not work as promised, according to a new report published today. Authored by access technology expert Noel Runyan and published by election reform groups Demos and Voter Action, 'Improving Access to Voting: A Report on the Technology for Accessible Voting Systems' shows that, due to inadequate or malfunctioning voting machines, voters with disabilities are frequently forced to ask for assistance or compromise the privacy of their vote— severe violations of federal disability accommodation requirements. The report details significant difficulties for voters with disabilities, including: the lack of a controllable interface for those who are unable to use touch screens or tactile key inputs; inadequate audio access features for people with visual or cognitive impairments, with dyslexia, or with severe motor-impairments; and lack of privacy curtains to prevent others from reading the voters’ selections on their visual displays.

'I originally had high hopes for the new voting machines' said Noel Runyan, the author of the report. Runyan, who is blind, is a professional electrical engineer who has spent much of his career developing access technologies for people with visual impairments. 'Even with my technical background and the help of poll workers, I could not get the Sequoia Edge II DRE to work. I have since tested most of the available voting systems at conferences and at the National Federation of the Blind’s accessible voting systems lab, and my fears have been confirmed: Most of the DREs deployed were not designed with real disability access in mind.'”...

  • NAtional: Promise of Accessible Voting For Voters With Disabilities Still Unfulfilled, New Report Finds LINK
  • NAtional: Senator Introduces 'Disappointing' E-Vote Reform Bill LINK
  • NAtional: Opinion - Let's feel safe about voting LINK
  • NAtional: New Version of Holt Bill: A Giant Step Backwards LINK
  • NAtional: Editorial – Fix The Machines LINK
  • NAtional: Holt Election Reform Bill Continues to be Supported by Democrats and Their Public Advocacy Groups, While Being Criticized by the Election Integrity Community LINK
  • NAtional: Overseas and Military Absentee Voters Continue to Face Voting Difficulties LINK
  • FL: Nelson introduces bill to ban paperless voting LINK
  • FL: Nelson proposes bill to require paper ballots LINK
  • KY: Runoff law may face elimination LINK
  • NJ: Vote machine documents stir debate LINK
  • NM: Los Alamos County - Council yanks voting machine funding LINK
  • NY: Lifton among those calling for switch to optical scanner voting LINK
  • PA: Bucks County - Quick Results, Not Necessarily Accurate Results LINK
  • TX: Democrats sue to fix voting machines
    eSlate electronic voting machines faulty, federal filing says. LINK
  • TX: Houston - Officials manipulate elections with polling location LINK
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