New Voting Machines Tested For Accessibility
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 8, 2004
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA--Allen County plans to buy 200 new, accessible electronic voting machines at a cost of about $2,500 each over the next two years.
It's quite an investment.
It will also help the county to comply with federal law that requires voting systems which allow voters with disabilities to independently cast a secret ballot.
So the county's director of elections, Pam Finlayson, decided to test the new machines to see how accessible they truly are.
She took the machines to Turnstone Center to let about 20 people with disabilities try them.
According to a brief item from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, the machines passed the test, but not with flying colors.
Among the suggestions given included setting the machines' legs wider apart for easier wheelchair access, increasing the volume of the electronic voice, and making the screen darker so it could be more easily read.
A man who has Parkinson's disease said a protective screen should be developed so people who cannot easily control their hand movements won't accidentally make the wrong selection.
One participant said that the new machines will encourage her -- and others -- to come out and vote on Election Day.
Help America Vote Act of 2002 (U.S. Federal Election Commission)